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FMFM 9-3 ! .


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13 July 1965



To set forth doctrine, tactics, and techniques for antimechanized

operations by Fleet Marine Force units. It is made available to other
Services for information and use as desired.


Commencing with the organization, command relationships, and

planning considerations incident to the conduct of antimechanized oper-
ations within the overall framework of the amphibious operation, the
organization and employment of the division antitank battalion, as well
as other units participating in antimechanized operations, are discussed.
Emphasis is placed on communications, logistic considerations, and
training guidance for antimechanized operations.


This publication supersedes LFM 27, ANTIMECHANIZED TACTICS,

dated 25 October 1960.; LFB 23, EMPLOYMENT OF THE ANTITANK
BATTALION, dated 23 December 1959; and Developmental Bulletin 1-64,


Recommendations for improving this manual are invited and should

be addressed to the Coordinator,/ Marine Corps Landing Force Develop-
ment Activities, Marine Corps Scho,ols, Quantico, Virginia 22134.
For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 20402 - Price $2.75.

Reviewed and approved this date.


Lieutenant General, U. S. Marine Corps
Chief of Staff


FMFM 9-3


Change Name of
No . Date of item Date of entry organization Grade Signature


FMFM 9-3





Paragraph Page
1101 General .......................... 0 0 1
1102 Scope of Antimechanized Operations .. 0 0 2
1103 Characteristics of Antimechanized Operations 0 0 3
1104 Amphibious Considerations ........... 0 4


1201 General ............................ 0 0 7

1202 The Hostile Mechanized Threat. . . . . . . . . . 7
1203 Characteristics of Major Hostile Mechanized
Organizations ...... 0 0 0 0 0 0 9
1204 Capabilities and Limitations of Hostile Mech-
anized Forces ..... 0 0 13
1205 Hostile Mechanized Tactics ........... 15
1206 Hostile Mechanized Tactical Maneuvers ..... 16


1301 General .......... 0 0 19

1302 Antimechanized Objectives ............ 19
1303 Concepts of Antimechanized Operations ... 20
1304 Concepts of Antimechanized Fires ....... 21
1305 Effectiveness of Antimechanized Fires ... 24
1306 Antimechanized Measures in the Amphibious
As sault . 0 0 0 25
1307 Principles of Antimechanized Operations 27


Section I: GENERAL

2101 Introduction ............................... 0 33

2102 Antimechanized Intelligence Requirements
During the Planning Phase .......... 33

FMFM 9-3


2103 Antimechanized Intelligence Planning Dur-

ing Movement to the Objective ............


2104 Antimechanized Intelligence Planning Dur-
ing Operations .................. 0 34



2201 General ..... 0 0 0 37

2202 Characteristics of the Area of Operations .. 0 37
2203 Enemy Situation ................... 0 0 0 0 38
2204 Enemy Capabilities ..... 0 0 39
2205 Conclusions ........................... 0 0 0 39

Section ill: TERRAlN STUDIES

2301 General ........................... 0 0 40

2302 Content of Terrain. Studies .............. 0 40
2303 Scope of Terrain Studies .... 0 41

Section IV:

Format for Terrain Studies ............


General .....................................
Amphibious Reconnaissance 0..................


2403 Aerial Visual Reconnaissance .... 0 43
2404 Aerial Photographic Reconnaissance ........... 45
2405 Ground Reconnaissance and Observation. . . . . . . 47
2406 Communication Reconnaissance ....... 0 0 0 49



Section I: GENERAL A
3101 Introduction ............ "..................... 51
3102 Planning Objectives in Antimechanized Oper-
ations .................... e " 51
3103 Planning Responsibilities in Antimechanized
Operations ......... 0 0 e 0 53
3104 Antimechanized Planning Sequence ... 0 53

3105 Staff Responsibilities ........ 0 54
3106 Antimechanized Planning Considerations ~ 56

FMFM 9-3



3201 General ............. 0 0 59

3202 Landing Force Objectives and Scheme of
Maneuver in the Antimechanized Operation 59
3203 Determination of Requirements for Antimech-
anized Resources ....................... 61
3204 Assignment of Tactical Missions and/or Attach-
ment and Allocation of Antimechanized Re-
sources .... _........................... 0 65
3205 Progressive Development of Antimechanized
Means Ashore ............................. 67


3301 General ..................................... 73

3302 Scope of Antimechanized Plan(s) . . . . . . . . . . . 73
3303 Basis for Formulating the Antimechanized
Plan(s) .................................... 74
3304 Determining and Evaluating the Landing Force's
Antimechanized Courses of Action ......... 74
3305 Form and Content of the Antimechanized Plan.. 76
3306 Testing and Rehearsal of Antimechanized Plan(s) 78


3401 General ................................. 0 79

3402 Conditions of Antimechanized Readiness ..... 79
3403 Prearranged Plans for Passing Control of
Antimechanized Means ....................... 80
3404 Contact Reports .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80
3405 Amplifying Reports ...............,............ 80
3406 Antimechanized Warning (Tank Alert) ...... 80
3407 Tanks Clear Message ...................... 82
3408 Dissemination of Antimechanized Warnings 84



3 501 Gene ral ..................... 0 0 It 0 86

3502 Objectives of Fire Support Planning in Anti-
mechanized Operations ............ . . . . 86

FMFM 9-3

Antimechanized Fire Planning ..............
Details of the Antimechanized Fire Support Plan


3601 General ................................. .... 0 91

3602 Employment of Barriers ................ 91
3603 Authority for Employment of Barriers ........ 92
3604 Responsibility for Planning and Employment of
Barriers ......................... 0 92
3605 Planning Considerations ........... 0 93
3606 Barrier Instructions ............... 95
3607 Barrier Construction ............. 0 96



3701 General ................ 0 98

3702 Defensive Echelons in the Antimechanized
Defense .................. 98

0 0

3703 Antimechanized Role in the Mobile Defense ... 99

3704 Area Defense ................................ 105
3705 Selection of the Type Defense for Antimech-
anized Operations ...... 107
3706 Counterattack Plans 110
3707 Organization of the Ground for Antimechanized
Operations ................................. 114
3708 Preparation of Positions ..................... 114



3801 General .......0 0 0 0 0 116

3802 Pre-D-Day Antimechanized Operations ....... 116
3803 Pre-H-Hour Operations ................... 0 116
3804 Landing and Operations Ashore ........ o. 0 117
3805 Offensive Action by the Landing Force......... 118
3806 Defensive Actions by the Landing Force .... 119
3807 Individual and Small Unit Antimechanized
Action .............. 0 0 0 121


FMFM 9-3

aragraph Page


3901 General ..................................... 122

3902 Striking Force Missions ................. 122
3903 Striking Force Organization for Combat........ 123
3904 The Striking Force in Antimechanized
Planning Involving Linkup Operations ... 0 124
3905 The Striking Force in Exploitation and Pursuit. 125



4101 General ..................................... 129

4102 Active Antimechanized Means ............. 129
4103 Passive Antimechanized Means and Measures .. 130
4104 Integration of Antimechanized Means ........ . 0. 131


4201 General .................................... a _ 132

4202 Scope of Individual Employment ............ 0.. 132
4203 Individual Protective Measures .............. 132
4204 Individual Antimechanized Means ............ 133
4205 Improvised Antimechanized Means ............. 133
4206 Marine Against Tank ....................... 135



4301 General. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 138

4302 Tactical Doctrine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 138
4303 Employment of Antitank Weapons 0............. 139
4304 Selection and Occupation of Positions ......... 141


4401 General . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 145

4402 Tactical Doctrine for Tank Employment. . . . . .. 145
4403 Tactical Employment of Tanks ............... 146
4404 Tank Versus Tank Technique ............ 150
4405 Tank Ordnance and Ammunition ............ 150


FMFM 9-3


Distribution of Tank Fires ...........
Selection of Tank Targets .........




4501 General ................. 0 0 154

4502 Field Artillery Organization and Weapons .... o. 154
4503 Capabilities and Limitations of Field Artillery . 154
4504 Principles of Employment..................... 157
4505 Support of the Antimechanized Operation ..... 159


4601 General. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 162

4602 Aviation Organization ...................... 162
4603 Capabilities of Air Support ........... 0 163
4604 Limitations of Air Support .................... 165
4605 Types of Air Support ..... 0 0 166
4606 Support of the Antimechanized Operation....... 166


4701 General. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 168

4702 Naval Gunfire Capabilities .................... 168
4703 Limitations of Naval Gunfire .................. 169
4704 Tactical Uses of Naval Gunfire................ 170
4705 Types of Naval Gunfire ....................... 171
4706 Zones of Responsibility ......... 0 171
4707 Support of the Antimechanized Operation ...... 172

4801 General ....................... 0 174

4802 Nuclear Missions in the Antimechanized
Ope ration .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 174
4803 Types of Nuclear Fires ... 0 175
4804 Selection of Weapons ..................... 0 176
4805 Type of Burst ... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 177
4806 Atomic Demolition Munitions (ADM) 0.......... 177

FMFM 9-3



4901 General ..................................... 180

4902 Chemical Agents ....................... 180
4903 Chemical Munition Capabilities and Delivery
Systems ................................. o. 180
4904 Limiting Factors in Employment of Chemical
Agent s ......... .................. 0 o. 182
4905 Nonpersistent Chemical Attacks in the Anti-
mechanized Operation ....... 0 183
4906 Persistent Chemical Attacks in the Antimech-
anized Operation ............... 0 0 0 184


41001 General ..................................... 185

41002 Types of Smoke ................ 0 0 185
41003 Types of Smoke Screens ................... 186
41004 Employment of Smoke ...................... 186
41005 Effects of Weather on Smoke .............. 187
41006 Effects of Terrain on Smoke . 0 0 188
41007 Employment of Smoke in the Antimechanized
Operation ...... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 188


41101 General .................................... 0 190

41102 Definitions .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 191
41103 Types of Land Mines ......... 0 191
41104 Classification of Minefields ........... 192
41105 Minefield Planning .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 192
41106 Minefie Id De sign ~............................ 195
41107 Construction of Minefields ... 0 0 199



41201 General .................................. 0 206

41202 Definitions ................................... 206
41203 Antimechanized Obstacles .......... 0 206
41204 Antipersonnel Obstacles ... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 211
41205 Employment of Obstacles ............ 0 212

FMFM 9-3


Section XIII:


General .....................................


41302 Equipment Capabilities and Limitations........ 213
41303 Tactical Employment .................. 213
41304 Antimechanized Missions .. . . . . . . . . .. 214
41305 Positioning of Radar Equipment ...... 0 215


41401 Gene ral ................. 0 Q 217
41402 Battlefield Illumination . 0 0 0 217
41403 Uses in the Antimechanized Operation ........ 217
41404 Antimechanized Employment of Illumination.... 219
41405 Indirect. Illumination 0........................ 219
41406 Direct Illumination .................. 0 220


Section I: GENERAL

Introduction ..................
Mission of the Antitank Battalion ............
Concept of Employment ...........
Concept of Organization . 0

Rifle, Multiple, 106mm SP, M50 Ontos .......



5106 Weapons Performance .................. 228
5107 Capabilities ........ 0 0 232
5108 Limitations .............................. 0 233
5109 The Ground Mount ................... o. 235

5201 General ........... 0 238 0 0

5202 Factors Influencing Planning ........ 238 0

5203 Antitank Battalion Intelligence. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 239

5204 Estimate of the Situation ..................... 240
5205 Recommended Plan for Antitank Battalion
Employment ............................... 240
5206 Embarkation Plan ......................... 241
5207 Landing Plans ........................ 241 0

FMFM 9-3

Paragraph Page
5208 Embarkation, Rehearsal, and Movement to the
Objective Area . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 242
5209 Landing the Ontos ........................ 247


5301 General .............................. 0 248

5302 Organization for Combat Considerations ... 248
5303 AT Battalion Organization for Combat ...... 248
5304 Limiting Factors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 250


5401 General .......................... 0 254

5402 Command Post Operations ......... 254
5403 Antitank Battalion Reconnaissance ...... 261
5404 Route Reconnaissance .. . . . . . . . . . . . .. 262
5405 Bivouac and Assembly Areas . . . . . 263
5406 Control on the March .............. 267
5407 Ontos Firing Positions . . . . . . . . . . . . 271
5408 Security ........ 0 274


5501 General ...................... 0 276

5502 Principles of Employment .................... 276
5503 Support of the Antimechanized Operation ...... 278
5504 Antitank Capability of the Ontos ... 0 281
5505 Ambush Techniques . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 281
5506 Roadblock Techniques . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 283
5507 Mechanized Task Force . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 284
5508 Mechanized Patrols . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 284
5509 Night Operations ............... . . . . . . . . . . . .. 285
5510 Combat in Built-Up Areas ........... 285
5511 River Crossings .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 286
5512 Attack on a Fortified Position ............ 286
5513 Emergency Employment .............. 286
5514 Retrograde Action ......................... 287


5601 General ..................................... 288

5602 Responsibility for Communications ......... 288

FMFM 9-3

Paragraph Page

5603 Principles of Ontos Communications ........... 289

5604 Communication Planning .................... 291
5605 Radio Communication Means ... 0 292
5606 Wire Communication Means .................. 296
5607 Other Communication Means .... 296
5608 Ontos-Infantry Communications .. 297

Section Vll: LOGISTICS

5701 General ..................................... 298

5702 Command Responsibilities ................... 298
5703 Principles of AT Battalion Logistics........... 298
5704 The AT Logistics Officer (S-4) . 0 299
5705 Related Logistic Responsibilities ............. 301
5706 Logistic Planning .......... 0 0 0 304
5707 Supply Operations ....................... 305
5708 Maintenance of the M50Al .................... 311
5709 Medical Evacuation . 315


A Format for Terrain Studies .................. 317

B Form for an Antimechanized Estimate . 0 0 319
C Form for an Antimechanized Annex ........... 321
D Example of an Antimechanized Annex.. . . . . . ... 325
E Form for a Barrier Plan ..... 0 ............... 331
F Antitank Grenades .... 0 0 333
G 3. 5-Inch Rocket Launcher, M20A1B1 .... 0. 0 337
H The M72 Light Assault Antitank Weapon (LAAW) 353
I 106mm Rifle, M40A1 ..................... 363
J Basic Ontos Crewman Training Program ...... 391
K Ontos Field Firing Procedures ......... . . . . .. 395
L Prescribed Loads .......................... o. 399

LIST OF REFERENCES ..................... ~ . . . . . . . . . . .. 403

INDEX ...................................... 0 0 407

FMFM 9-3




Mechanized forces play an important role in modern warfare.


A landing force in an amphibious assault or in subsequent operations

ashore must have the capability to contain and destroy an enemy mech-
anized force. This manual outlines basic doctrines, standard proce-
dures, and tactical concepts designed and employed to detect, counter,
and destroy hostile mechanized forces. It is oriented principally to-
ward the planning and execution of antimechanized operations in am-
phibious operations.

a. General. --The general chapter relates amphibious concepts to

operations against a hostile mechanized force and delineates the scope
of hostile mechanized and landing force antimechanized operations.
Emphasis is placed on antimechanized concepts of operation, objectives,
and prinCiples.

b. Antimechanized Intelligence. --Chapter 2 outlines intelligence

planning, requirements, and collection in the antimechanized operation.
It discusses the mechanized and antimechanized estimates, antimech-
anized reconnaissance, and antimechanized warnings. Emphasis is

FMFM 9-3

placed on the necessity for a long range antimechanized warning sys-

tern to detect and counter a hostile mechanized threat.

c. Planning and Execution of Antimechanized Operations. --Chapter

3 discusses the planning and execution of antimechanized operations.
Principal emphasis is placed on antimechanized aspects of amphibious
planning, the determination of antimechanized requirements, the of-
fensive employment of massed long range supporting fires to destroy
hostile mechanized forces before they can close with and attack the
landing force, and the execution of a mobile-type antimechanized

d. Employment of Antimechanized Means. - -Chapter 4 outlines the

active and passive antimechanized resources available to the landing
force. Emphasis is placed upon their tactical employment to counter
varying types and degrees of hostile mechanized threats.

e. Employment of the Antitank Battalion. --Chapter 5 presents the

mission, organization, and tactical employment of the division anti-
tank battalion in the antimechanized operation. Emphasis is placed on
requirements for coordinating the employment of the antitank battalion
with the landing force's other antimechanized resources; e. g., infantry

antitank weapons, tanks, and supporting arms.


The antimechanized operation is principally an action against

tanks. However, it encompasses actions against any type or com-
bination of types of enemy armored vehicles. These include scout cars,
armored cars, armored personnel carriers, track-laying armored
amphibian vehicles, and self-propelled howitzers, guns, and missiles.
In addition to attacks on such vehicles, the antimecahnized operation
provides for attacks on:

a. Accompanying troops and overwatching antitank/assault guns

supporting hostile mechanized forces.

b. Hostile aircraft providing close support to enemy mechanized


c. Combat support elements of hostile mechanized forces.

d. Service elements accompanying hostile mechanized forces.


FMFM 9-3

e. Logistic areas and installations supporting the enemy's mech-

anized forces.

f. Areas, facilities, and structures such as bridges, defiles,

narrow passes, communication routes, etc., which may be used to
canalize, stop, delay, or restrict the movement of hostile mechanized


Antimechanized operations may be either offensive or def ensive

in nature. They form an integral part of the landing force's overall
tactical operations and cannot be isolated and treated separately. Char-
acteristics of antimechanized operations which require special con-
sideration in the development of landing force plans include:

a. Absence of Clearly Defined Tactical Areas. --Mechanized forces

seek out a battlefield which is eJensive and porous with wide gaps
between units. In such a situation, a landing force would be in con-
tinuing danger from a tank attack from any direction that provides
good mechanized trafficability. Further, in the development of the
operation, friendly and hostile mechanized elements tend to bypass or
outflank one another and become intermingled, so that smaller scale
antimechanized actions may take place throughout the battle area at
any time.

b. Key Importance of Terrain. - -As in no other operation, terrain

is a limiting factor. It dictates when and where friendly and hostile
mechanized forces can be used and is an important consideration in
their employment. The successful conduct of an antimechanized oper-
ation depends, to a large degree, upon the capability of the landing
force or its threatened elements to use terrain intelligently.

c. Rapid MaSSing of Combat Power. --The antimechanized oper-

ation imposes an increased requirement for mobility on elements of
the landing force so that antimechanized resources can be massed
rapidly against an attacking hostile mechanized force.

d. Minimal Reaction Time. --The capability of enemy mechanized

forces to mass an attack rapidly allows the landing force a minimum
of reaction time. There is no time for lengthy studies, plans, or
staff elaboration. The assessment of the hostile mechanized threat
and the response to it are accomplished quickly. Speed and Simplic-
ity are paramount. The most expeditious means of communications

r FMFM 9-3

are employed to alert and maneuver the landing force's antimech-
anized resources.

e. Increased Organizational Flexibility. --The tactical arrangement

and distribution of the landing force's antimechanized resources are
continuously tailored to meet the specific hostile mechanized threats
confronting the landing force. This arrangement remains dynamic
throughout the conduct of the operation. Antimechanized means are
shifted as required to counter shifts or changes in the mechanized
threat. Indiscriminate attachment or the stereotyped distribution of
supporting antimechanized means to assault elements is avoided.

f. Centralized Control and Coordination. --Antimechanized operations

are controlled and coordinated centrally insofar as practicable. Prior
to the determination of the enemy's time and place of attack control
and coordination are retained at division or higher level. After the
location of the main threat has been determined, . control and coordina-
tion are then passed to the commander of the threatened element of the
landing force. The antimechanized operation is based upon massing the
bulk of available antimechanized means in depth along the most proba-
ble avenues of approach for hostile armor and backing them up with a
tank-heavy striking force capable of defeating any enemy mechanized

units that penetrate the battle area o

g. Total Commitment of Antimechanized Resources. --Antimechanized

means used piecemeal against a well organized enemy will fail to pro-
vide or support an adequate antimechanized offense or defense. The
antimechanized operation is designed to provide for massing all availa-
ble antimechanized resources in the critical area as rapidly as possi-
ble.o_ It focuses all available antimechanized weapons at. the point of

h. Avoidance of Stereotyped Doctrine. --The antimechanized re-

sponse is varied to meet the hostile mechanized threat imposed. It
requires daring and imaginative leadership. The variety of antimech-
anized situations that may confront the landing force generate a continu-
ing evolution of new doctrine on the battlefield. Employment of stereo-
typed procedures or predictable tactical patterns invites destruction.


Organizing and executing an effective antimechanized operation

against an enemy capable of large-scale mechanized operations is a
challenge under the most ideal conditions. Antimechanized operations
within the framework of an amphibious assault are particularly difficult


FMFM 9-3

because of inherent amphibious considerations which tend to increase

the vulnerability of the landing force to a large -scale mechanized
attack. Among these amphibious considerations are the following:

a. The Initial Absence of Depth on the Battlefield. - -In the amphi-

bious assault the landing force initially has no land area to defend.
The purely offensive nature of its operations makes the landing force
particularly vulnerable to attack by hostile mechanized forces. This
situation continues until the momentum of the initial assault carries
the landing force far enough inland to provide the depth which is a
prerequisite to the execution of a conventional antimechanized defense.

b. The Initial Absence of Antimechanized Means. --In the early

stages of the amphibious!helicopterborne -assault, assault elements
depend on organic antitank/assault weapons and air and naval gunfire.
Tanks and Ontos may be landed in the first assault waves to support
the assault or to counter an immediate enemy tank threat in the land-
ing area. However, their landing may be delayed by beach and off-
shore obstacles and/or enemy antitank weapons in the landing area.
Ontos and other antimechanized resources lacking the armor protec-
tion, shockpower, and firepower of tanks are normally landed after
the tanks. The landing force remains in a precarious pOSition until
it realizes its full antimechanized capability with the landing and in-
tegration of all available antimechanized means.

c. Restrictions on Landing Force Maneuver. - - In the initial stages

of the amphibious assault a landing force will normally present a good
target to hostile mechanized forces. In addition, its maneuver may be
restricted by manmade obstacles to its front and the sea at its back.
Until the landing force breaches obstacles to its front and gains depth
on the battlefield, its capability to introduce and maneuver its heavy
antitank means on the battlefield is severely restricted.

d. Lack of Battlefield Reconnaissance. --The employment of the

landing force's mobile antimechanized resources is initially hampered
by unfamiliarities with the landing area which can be resolved only by
on-the-ground reconnaissance. These elements remain vulnerable to
hostile mechanized forces until detailed battlefield reconnaissance is
completed and adequate mechanized trafficability plans are developed.

e. Absence of Artificial Barriers. --During the early stages of the

amphibious operation the landing force has no artificial barrier sys-
tern to restrict, disrupt, or canalize the maneuver of hostile mech-
anized forces.

FMFM 9-3

f. Decentralization of Control. --During the ship-to-shore move-

ment antimechanized elements of the landing force are deployed and
may become separated. Furthermore, control is, of necessity, de-
centralized. These elements are vulnerable to piecemeal destruction
by hostile mechanized forces until centralized control and unity of
command are reestablished.

g. Vulnerability of Supporting Elements. --The landing force is

composed of two elements, the mobile tactical elements and the rela-
tively immobile support elements. The latter elements such as fuel
farms, aviation installations, and logistic facilities are attractive
targets for hostile mechanized forces and possess only limited num-
bers of infantry antitank weapons.

h. Vulnerability of Helicopterborne Troops. --Elements landed by

helicopter in the initial stages of the amphibious operation are ex-
tremely vulnerable to hostile me chanized attack since they are iso-
lated from major elements of the landing force and possess a limited
antimechanized capability. Helicopterborne forces remain vulnerable
until a linkup is effected with other elements of the landing force and
they are reinforced with heavy antitank weapons.

i. Unit Separation During Nuclear Threat. - -The threat of enemy

nuclear weapons often dictates a Significant degree of separation for
the subordinate units of the landing force. Separation lessens the
commander's capability to mass his antimechanized means rapidly in
order to defeat a counterattack by a hostile mechanized force. The
gaps resulting from such separation can be exploited by rapid thrusts
of hostile mechanized forces.

FMFM 9-3



Well organized hostile mechanized operations are characterized

by suddenness, surprise, and tremendous shockpower concentrated
quickly at points of enemy selection on a relatively narrow front.
Attacking tanks are followed by infantry, covered by infantry, assisted
by infantry and by infantry weapons, and supported by direct support
artillery and tactical aircraft. Hostile tanks seek to concentrate their
trememdous firepower on elements of the landing force in the re-
stricted beachhead. This unusually great concentration of firepower
and fighting power in a local sector is designed to overcome all land-
ing force resistance in a decisive phase of short duration. The ob-
jective of the hostile mechanized fire is decisive while the local
elements of the landing force are greatly outmatched in terms of
fire and maneuver capabilities and before the landing force anti-
mechanized reserves and supporting fires can react. The employ-
ment of such tactics by a mechanized enemy on a large scale con-
stitues a real and continuing danger to a landing force. This danger
is better overcome when the landing force is aware of the capabilities
and limitations of hostile mechanized forces and the tactics and tech-
niques they employ.


The threat which hostile mechanized forces pose to a landing

force varies with size of the enemy's mechanized force, the terrain
over which it is operating, and the antimechanized capability of the
landing force. While a platoon of hostile tanks may pose a localized
threat to one of the landing force's rifle platoons, it does not seriously
endanger the overall operation. On the other hand, a hostile tank
division may pose a serious threat to a division and to the landing
force as a whole, particularly if the terrain over which it is employed
permits complete freedom of maneuver. The degree of the hostile
mechanized threat in an amphibious operation differs at successive
phases of the operation and is evaluated in terms of the relative cap-
abilities of the opposing forces during each phase.

a. Prior to the landing, the threat in the landing area normally

consists of the enemy's local defense forces reinforced by tanks. The
seriousness of such a threat varies with the number of tanks available
FMFM 9-3

and the enemy's capability to reinforce them with other mechanized


b. During the landing, the threat decreases or increases depending

upon the enemy tank strength relative to the total strength of landing

force antimechanized resources ashore. Where the epemy has a cap-
ability to mass a superior strength in armored units outside the
objective area and move them to the landing area in time to interfere
with the landing force mission, he may place operations of the landing
force in jeopardy.

c. Subsequent to the initial landing, a threat is posed by local

counterattacks reinforced by armor. In the case of a major mechanized
enemy, the commitment of strong armored striking forces initially
deployed in great depth and unable to react to the initial landing must
be anticipated. Hostile reserve mechanized forces in such strength
pose a serious threat to all landing force operations.

d. In prolonged operations ashore, particularly on a large land

mass where the enemy retains a significant mechanized potential, the
probability of an enemy tank attack increases as:

(l) Operations move considerable distances inland.

(2) The depth of the landing force's area increases.

(3) Communication and logistic support lines are extended.

e. The threat posed by the hostile mechanized forces is signifi-

cantly increased when the enemy possesses the capability to employ
nuclear weapons. In such a case the landing force concept of oper-
ations dictates employment of widely separated landing beaches, verti-
cal assault techniques, and unit separation. This increases the vul-
nerability of the landing force to hostile mechanized attack because it
limits the landing force's ability to mass antitank means to meet a
large -scale attack.

f. From the landing force point of view, it is most vulnerable

during the initial phase of the landing when the full weight of its anti-
mechanized weapons have not been deployed ashore.

g. From the enemy point of view, the landing force is most vul-
nerable when the enemy can engage it with massed mechanized forces
on terrain which affords complete trafficability. Such a situation may


FMFM 9-3

not exist in the landing area. When it does not, and the enemy has
sufficient terrain extending inland from the landing area, major
hostile mechanized forces may adopt a mobile -type defense and yield
ground in order to lure landing force elements into areas of good
trafficability where hostile armored striking forces can realize their
full potential.



Major hostile me chanized organizations are built around tank

elements. Typical organizations for hostile tank and motorized divi-
sions are depicted in figure 1.

a. Hostile Motorized Division. --The typical hostile motorized

division is completely motorized and is a well balanced tank-infantry-
artillery team. It has sufficient firepower to execute its principal
role of assault and exploitation. Tactics for the tactical employment
of the hostile motorized division are characterized by the following:

(1) The mission aSSigned to a motorized division to counter

an amphibious landing will normally be to break through the defenses
of the landing force. The objective of the hostile motorized division
will be to destroy the tactical integrity of the landing force, divide
it into small isolated groups, destroy each group in turn, and overrun
its artillery.

(2) The division will normally attack in two echelons. The

first echelon will usually consist of two motorized rifle regiments
reinforced with tank battalions, antitank companies, and assault guns.
The second echelon will consist of one reinforced motorized rifle regi-
ment. The tank regiment minus will be kept in reserve for commit-
ment when the initial penetration has been made.

(3) In the attack, the width of the attack zone of the hostile
motorized division in the main effort will normally be about 10 to 16
kilometers. The depth of the division tactical formation may be up to
30 to 35 kilometers when fully deployed.

(4) The division can be expected to move by organic means

into assembly areas about 20 to 30 kilometers from its attack posi-
tions. The stay in assembly area will be limited to the time necessary
to assign missions to subordinate units, check preparations, and or-
ganize combat groups for the attack. On the night preceeding the

FMFM 9-3

attack, the division will move by vehicle to attack positions in battal-

ion and regimental columns. March columns will be preceded by
antitank units. Wherever possible, attack positions and assembly
areas will be prepared with subsurface shelters before occupancy.
Arrival at the attack pOSitions will be timed to just precede the start
of nuclear preparatory fires. The division medium tank regiment will
move after the preparati~n has started so that the noise of its
movement is masked.


~ [9svc

350-400 TANKS


*300 TANKS

Figure 1. --Organization of Hostile Tank and Motorized Divisions.

FMFM 9-3

(5) Covered by the artillery preparation, motorized rifle units

and their accompanying tank and assault guns will move into previous-
1y prepared areas to close with the landing force. Assault units will
move within 100 meters of the artillery impact areas and take advan-
tage of any limited visibility and surprise achieved to close with the
landing force. During the assault antitank guns and mortars will be
under control of the assaulting units. Organic regimental artillery,
reinforced by regimental artillery groups, will support the assault in
depth and prepare to displace forward promptly. Extended fire duels
with landing force centers of resistance will be avoided. Small de-
tachments will be left to contain bypassed elements.

(6) Supporting artillery units will concentrate their fires on

landing force antitank defenses. Riflemen and engineers will be em-
ployed to protect the hostile tanks from infantry elements of the land-
ing force, neutralize antitank minefields and other antitank obstacles,
and help evacuate damaged tanks. Tanks will normally not outdistance
their supporting motorized rifle units by more than 400 meters.

(7) If the enemy is able to advance through landing force posi-

tions' special antitank groups composed of antitank guns and engineers
armed with flamethrowers will follow in rear of assault groups. The
antitank groups will be employed to block frontal counterattacks by
landing force elements while enemy tanks engage the landing force from
the flanks and the engineers assist in reducing landing force positions.

(8) If the first echelon can drive through landing force positions
to the depth of the landing force artillery, widening of the breach,
destruction of the bypassed centers of reSistance, and exploitation of the
breakthrough will be undertaken by the second echelon assisted by some
of the assault group. The remainder of the first echelon will attempt
to consolidate captured positions and prepare to repel counterattacks
or regroup and continue the advance.

(9) The second echelon will be used to provide direct support

to the first echelon, protect flanks, repel counterattacks, maintain
the impetus of the assault, mop up centers of resistance bypassed by
assault units, and exploit the breakthrough. It may also be used to
replace or reinforce first echelon units weakened or destroyed by the
actions of the landing force. The second echelon normally follows
the first echelon by 6 to 18 kilometers and will usually be committed
from the march.

FMFM 9-3

(10) The medium tank regiment may be employed in the first

echelon but, as the division's main striking force, it will normally
be kept in reserve to exploit the initial penetration. The tank battal-
ions may be used to reinforce the motorized rifle regiments of the
first echelon. In this case the tank regiment will regain control over
them when it is committed.

(11) Normal antitank, engineer, and antiairborne reserves will

be retained for later engagement at a decisive time.

b. Hostile Tank Division. - -Hostile tank divisions are comprised

primarily of tank units designed to provide great shock action and
are capable of deep penetration into landing force areas. The tank
division is not as well suited for independent operations as the motor-
ized rifle division. Its tactical employment IS generally characterized
by the following:

(1) The tank division will usually attack in two echelons. The
first echelon will usually consist of two medium tank regiments rein-
forced. It may consist of a medium tank regiment and the motorized
rifle regiment reinforced. The second echelon will normally consist
of the heavy tank regiment and the remaining regiment. No tank re-
serves as such are retained by the tank division commander.

(2) The tank division may organize combat teams based on the
two medium tank regiments by attaching to each a motorized rifle
battalion and a heavy tank battalion. It may also organize combat teams

around the motorized rifle regiment and the heavy tank regiment if
appropriate to the situation.

(3) The tank division will normally be assigned a frontage of

12 to 15 kilometers in the main attack and 25 to 30 kilometers in a
secondary attack. Its attack zone is normally 12 to 15 kilometers re-
gardless of its frontage. In breakthrough operations its attack zone
will be about 12 kilometers. Once through landing force defenses, the
width of the attack zone may be extended.

(4) The tank division will be used to create and maintain shock
deep in the landing force rear; prevent or break up the formation of
hasty rear defense positions; and disrupt landing force command, com-
munication' and logistic installations. Its operation will be closely
coordinated with the operations of the motorized rifle division.


FMFM 9-3

(5) In the breakthrough the tank division will advance rapidly

with the first echelon in two parallel columns about 4 to 6 kilometers
apart. The columns will be preceded by advance detachments rein-
forced with infantry and assault guns. Flanks of the column will be
protected by reconnaissance units or security detachments. Radio-
logical reconnaissance will be continuous by all units. Deployment
of columns only takes place when necessary to overcome resistance
that is holding up the advance and which cannot be bypassed The
second echelon will follow in dispersed battalion columns at a distance
of up to 20 kilometers.

(6) When the landing force's forward defenses can be bypassed,

attacks will be made on the flanks and rear of landing force positions
wherever they are assailable. Moving rapidly, the hostile tanks will
attempt to overrun and destroy isolated landing force elements. When
resistance is too great, the assault will be broken off, containing forces
will be left to await the arrival of motorized rifle units, and the tank
forces will move on. Crossroads, bridges, and other terrain features
that can be used to cut off landing force elements are seized. Where
possible, landing force command posts and logistic facilities will be
overrun. The tank division will make every effort to retain the initia-
tive and maintain the impetus of the attack. The tank division concen-
trates on rapid, slashing attacks, and leaves the destruction of strong
centers of resistance to the following motorized rifle divisions. If the
landing force commits sizeable reserves, the tank division will attempt
to block them with motorized rifle forces or by nuclear fires prior to
continuing the advance.



Successful planning and execution of antimechanized operations

dictate a thorough understanding of the capabilities and limitations of a
hostile mechanized force that may threaten a landing force.

a. Capabilities. --Hostile mechanized forces are characterized by

the capability to provide mobility, firepower, armor protection and
shockpower to an enemy force.

(1) Mobility. - -The overall mobility of hostile mechanized

forces permits their rapid concentration. Armored forces can rein-
force the enemy's local security forces in the area of the landing from
great distances inland to launch their counterattack against the landing
force from a direction chosen by the enemy. Once committed to the

FMFM 9-3

counterattack, this inherent mobility permits a hostile mechanized

force to change its direction of attack at will and to take maximum
advantage of the situation as it developso

(2) Firepowero --Hostile mechanized forces possess a tremen-

dous firepower potential in the forms of direct fire tank and antitank
weapons, self-propelled field and antiaircraft artillery, and missiles.
H the enemy is allowed to mass this firepower at critical points, the
landing force's ability to accomplish its mission will be jeopardized.

(3) Armor Protection - -All elements of hostile mechanized

forces possess some degree of armor protection from small arms
fire and artillery air bursts and a degree of protection from nuclear
fires. The frontal armor of hostile tanks can be penetrated only by
a direct hit from armor penetrating munitions.

(4) Shockpower. --The devastating firepower, mobility, and

armor protection of hostile mechanized forces enhance their ability
to strike rapidly, to continue their advance through withering artill-
ery and small arms fire, force, and to crush anything in their path.
The psychological impact of such shockpower tends to demoralize or
panic all but the most highly disciplined and trained troops.

b. Limitations. -- Hostile mechanized forces are characterized by

limitations involving their sensitivity to terrain, weak spots in armor
protection, ease of detection, combat support reqUirements, and logis-
tic support requirements.

(1) SenSitivity to Terraino --Hostile mechanized forces are sen-
sitive to terrain and generally can be employed effectively in an area
only after complete and detailed reconnaissance of the ground. Nat-
ural obstacles are as effective in stopping tanks as the most powerful
antitank weapons and are incorporated into the landing force's overall
barrier system as a means to delay, disrupt, and canalize the advance
of hostile armor0

(2) Weak Spots in Armor Protection. --The degree of armor

protection provided hostile mechanized tanks and mechanized vehicles
is Significantly reduced on their sides and rear. Landing force anti-
mechanized fires are designed to engage them at such points.

(3) Ease of Detection. --Large-scale, hostile, mechanized

forces require Significant maneuver space and present an extremely
large target concentration, both laterally and in depth. This factor,


FfvlFM 9-3

combined with the noise of operation, track pattern, and dust clouds
created by their movement, makes them easily detectable by the air
and ground surveillance systems of the landing force.

(4) Combat Support Requirements. --Hostile mechanized forces

require extensive ground combat and reconnaissance support by mech-
anized infantry elements. When separated from this support, they
become vulnerable to terrain and to the fire and maneuver of landing
force elements. The support train also provides ideal antimechanized
targets for the landing force.

(5) Logistic Support Requirements. --Hostile mechanized forces

require continuous supply, maintenance, and ordnance support. The
tanks themselves have a high rate of fuel and ammunition consumption.
They require daily maintenance checks and continuing replenishment of
critical spare parts to keep them combat ready. Since their on vehicle
load of fuel and ammunition is limited, and the tank crew can perform
only minor repairs, they become vulnerable when cut off from their
combat service units.


Hostile mechanized tactics are based upon a combination of main

and supporting attacks. Normally, the main attack is more heavily
weighted and is directed at the most decisive objectives. The support-
ing attack may be launched before, simultaneously, or after the main
attack. Its primary purpose is to cause the landing force to commit
its antimechanized reserve striking force prematurely or to deploy
them in the wrong direction. It strives to divert the landing force'S
antimechanized resources away from the more heavily weighted main
attack, thereby providing the main attack with a greater opportunity
for success. On occasion, hostile mechanized forces weight their
main attack as the situation develops. In this case, the enemy may
launch two mechanized attackS Simultaneously, then throw the full
weight of mechanized reserves and supporting arms in the direction
which offers the most promise of success. The tactics employed by
hostile mechanized forces normally evolve around either a deep envel-
oping tank attack or a "blast-through" type of penetration.

a. Deep Envelopment. --The deep enveloping tank attack by hostile

forces is based upon an envelopment or turning movement in depth.
In this instance, the hostile mechanized forces seek out weaknesses in
an attempt to outflank the landing force'S assault elements and to strike
at its weaker elements in the landing area. Once these elements are

FMFM 9-3

overrun, the hostile attack may change its direction in order to hit
the landing force's assault elements from the rear. Such an attack
relies on speed, deception, and surprise. The hostile mechanized
force generally commences its movement to contact under the cover of
darkness or reduced visibility. Prolonged supporting fires are mini-

mized and artillery and air support are timed to hit the landing force
units just minutes before the hostile mechanized assault is launched.

b. "Blast-Through" Penetration. --Hostile mechanized forces may

employ a "blast-through" type of penetration tactic. In this situation
the enemy makes no attempt to gain surprise and can be expected to
establish close and immediate contact with the landing force elements.
The enemy aggressively employs a wide assortment of antitank weapons
at relatively short range. These enemy weapons are placed in over-
watching pOSitions, within 300 meters of landing force positions, in
an attempt to neutralize tanks, strongpoints, and other weapons or to
destroy obstacles delaying the hostile tank units. The "blast-through"
technique relies heavily on massed supporting fires. It attempts to
literally smother the landing force elements under attack. The enemy
tank attack is preceded by extensive air strikes and massive artillery
preparation fires. Such fires are designed to isolate landing force
elements from the balance of the force and to neutralize their anti-
mechanized defenses. Such fires may extend over a considerable
period of time and provide close cover to the hostile tanks as they
assault landing force positions.


In its efforts to engage and destroy the landing force, an enemy
mechanized force may employ any of the five basic maneuvers described
below. See figure 2. The multiple penetrations and double pincer
maneuvers are normally used only by large -scale mechanized forces
operating on an extended land mass with excellent overall mechanized
trafficability. The other tactical maneuvers may be used by hostile
mechanized forces of varying sizes whenever the size of the landing
force and the distance to it are within the opposing capabilities of the
hostile force.

a. Double Envelopment. --Large-scale mechanized forces normally

resort to the double envelopment whenever possible. It has proven to
be the most decisive maneuver and contributes most effectively to the
enemy's attempt to encircle and destroy a landing force. Since this
maneuver requires a preponderance of force, hostile mechanized for-
ces use it only when the balance between forces involved is such that
there is little risk of their own defeat in detail.

FMFM 9-3



\ \



-::::::::::::::====~~ ~ --~
__ ________________________
Figure 2. --Five Basic Hostile Mechanized Tactical Maneuvers.

bo Single Envelopment. --This maneuver permits the enemy to con-

centrate its effort in one direction to ensure superiority of means in
the decisive area. The ultimate aim of the single envelopment is
seizing objectives behind frontlines. This task is made easier because
with the sea to its rear and only a limited beachhead the landing force
has very little maneuver room o

FMFM 9-3

c. Penetration. --An enemy penetration on a relatively narrow front

with subsequent widening of the gap and exploitation may be attempted
to split the landing force. Elements of the landing force on the flanks
of the penetration are marked for envelopment, isolation, and destruc-

tion. This maneuver is especially well suited to an enemy's mech-
anized concept of employing mass since it permits concentration of
hostile forces in one direction designed for possible defeat of the land-
ing force in detail.

d. Multiple Penetration. --Hostile mechanized forces may use the

multiple penetration if they are of sufficient strength. This maneuver
consists of a series of penetrations intended to drive through to the
depth of the landing force reserve with subsequent encirclement and
destruction of the resulting landing force segments. Large forces are
required by an enemy to employ this maneuver, for encirclement of a
landing force after it has been divided leads to considerable dispersion.
This maneuver is designed to destroy the continuity of landing force
defenses. Its use by hostile mechanized forces can lead to the collapse
of defenses in areas large enough to provide maneuver space for further
mechanized operations and reduce the effectiveness of mechanized
countermeasures by the landing force. The availability of large num-

bers of nuclear w~apons to the enemy or the wide separation of land-
ing force units, facilitate his employment of this maneuver.

e. Double Pincers. --A hostile mechanized force may use the double
pincers maneuver when a double envelopment is not possible because
the flanks of the landing force are unassailable. Two penetrations are
made initially to create interior flanks that are assailable. Enemy
mobile forces attack through the gaps and attempt to make a deep en-
velopment to a depth great enough to include landing force reserves.
The hostile mobile forces, upon linkup, form outer elements of the
pincers to prevent landing force reinforcements from reaching the
surrounding units. The enemy may employ nuclear fires to help
accomplish this action. other hostile forces, forming the inner pin-
cers, operate within this perimeter to destroy and divide the isolated
elements of the landing force. Inner pincers may be employed to com-
press the encircled landing force units into nuclear targets.

FMFM 9-3



Antimechanized operations encompass any action, large or small,

taken by a landing force to counter hostile mechanized forces or ele-
mentso Such operations may be conducted on a large scale against a
completely mechanized enemy, or they may be lesser included parts
of a normal amphibious operation in which an element(s) of the landing
force is threatened by hostile forces supported by tanks. The anti-
mechanized operation has some of the aspects of both the offensive
and the defensive. The attack of hostile tanks dictates that either the
landing force as a whole or its threatened elements adopt a form of
the defense to counter' and destroy the threat. During early phases of
the amphibious assault antime chanized defensive measures are of an
emergency nature. Once the landing force has developed sufficient
depth on the battlefield, it can react to the threat of hostile tanks by
adopting a normal mobile or area-type defense compatible with the
terrain and the situation. This section discusses the objectives and
concepts of antimechanized operations, the types of defensive measures.
adopted to counter and destroy a hostile mechanized threat, and the
general tactical principles that apply in such situations.


a. Basic Objectives. --The antimechanized operation is a defense

against tanks. It is primarily concerned with integrating all available
antimechanized resources to destroy the enemy's tanks. Tactically,
it strives to provide a strong counter concentration of nuclear and/or
conventional tank stopping power that can be applied immediately against
hostile tanks whenever and wherever they are located. Its basic objec-
tives are to:

(1) Locate and engage the enemy's tanks as far forward of the
landing force's positions as possible using air, naval gunfire, and

(2) As a mInImUm, reduce the enemy tank strength prior to its

engagement with assault units.

(3) Disable or destroy surviving tank elements assaulting the

landing force with all available weapons.

FMFM 9-3

b. Related Requirements. --To achieve these basic objectives,

landing force antimechanized operations are designed to fulfill the
following related requirements:

(1) Establish an efficient long range antimechanized surveillance,

warning, and attack system to facilitate the engagement and destruc-
tion of hostile armor as far forward of the landing force's positions
as possible.

(2) Give consideration to natural barriers in selecting beaches

for the landing. Such barriers provide protection to the landing force
and restrict, disrupt, and canalize the maneuver of hostile mechanized

(3) Plan and execute the landing so that the landing force can
achieve sufficient depth on the battlefield to permit the organization
of a strong antimechanized defense prior to contact with major hostile
mechanized forces. Where this cannot be done, the landing force re-
quires an overall fire support superiority that permits it to dominate
operations to the extent that hostile mechanized forces are completely
destroyed and/or neutralized in the area of the landing.

(4) As part of the isolation of the battlefield, provide adequate

long range antimechanized means to delay, destroy, damage, neutralize,
or severely reduce hostile mechanized elements well forward of landing
force positions.

(5) Provide adequate short range antimechanized means to ensure

close-in protection of the landing force.

(6) Provide a tank-heavy reserve or striking force with suffi-

cient mobility to retake the initiative and deploy rapidly to contain and
destroy any hostile mechanized penetration of the landing force.


Basic antimechanized concepts provide for locating, engaging,

and destroying hostile tanks as far forward of the landing force posi-
tions or objectives as possible. Hostile mechanized forces entering
the landing force objective area are subjected to ever increasing re-
sistance as they approach friendly forward units. This resistance is
designed to continuously disrupt, delay, and canalize the enemy attack
and reduce its effectiveness. Landing force tactics are designed to
force the enemy mechanized forces to deploy and maneuver in the


FMFM 9-3




Figure 3. --Concentric Circles of Fire Support.

terrain most suitable for the employment of friendly antimechanized
means, and where the enemy forces are most susceptible to counter-
attack by the landing force'S mobile reserve/striking force. Every
effort is made to force enemy armor to fight on the terrain and terms
dictated by the landing force.


There are three general concepts for planning antimechanized

fires in the antimechanized operation: concentric circles of fire support,
ever increasing volume of fire, and ever increasing kill probability.
All three concepts rely on engaging the enemy's attacking tank elements
with long range air, naval gunfire, and artillery as far forward of the
landing force's positions as possible. They differ principally as to the
techniques used in employing direct fire antitank weapons in the close-
in protection of landing force elements.

a. Concentric Circles of Fire Support. --This concept, illustrated

in figure 3, implies that each direct fire antitank (AT) weapon opens
fire as attacking tanks come within the maximum effective range of
the landing force's direct fire AT weapons. A technique for achieving
depth of positioning by this concept is created by positioning AT wea-
pons as illustrated in figure 4. "While this concept provides for effective
engagement of tanks by air, naval gunfire, and artillery, it places
undue reliance on the maximum effective range of direct fire antitank
weapons. Since the hit probability of most antitank weapons at
FMFM 9-3



Figure 4. --Technique for Achieving Depth Using Concentric

Circles of Fire Support.

maximum effective range is extremely low, this concept diminishes

the prospects of obtaining first round hits.

b. Ever Increasing Volume of Fire. --This technique, illustrated

in figure 5, visualizes that all AT weapons are employed along the
same line. The approaching tanks are taken under attack by air, naval
gunfire, and artillery at the greatest possible distance from the landing
force's positions. Those hostile tanks that escape destruction and
continue the attack are taken under fire by the longest range direct
fire antitank weapons. As the hostile tanks come within range, other
direct fire antitank weapons open fire. The last remaining hostile
tanks to reach the landing force positions are engaged by all friendly
antitank weapons. While this technique provides for effective long
range attack of hostile tanks, it is normally resorted to only when the
depth of the landing force's position is extremely shallow; i. e., during
the early stages of the landing or within a blocking position of strong-
point in the mobile defense. The principal weakness of this technique
is that it results in piecemeal disclosure of the landing force direct
fire AT weapons and possible loss of surprise. As a result, there is
a high probability that the landing force's antitank weapons will be des-
troyed by enemy tanks and overwatching AT guns before they seriously
damage the enemy tanks or other mechanized targets.
FMFM 9-3

F'igure 5. --Ever Increasing Volume of Fire.

c. Ever Increasing Kill Probability. --This technique, illustrated

in figure 6, visualizes that the assault echelon of enemy tanks or
mechanized targets arrive simultaneously at a "kill" line and/or range
where all direct fire antitank weapons possess a reasonably good hit
probability. Antitank weapons are emplaced in depth with shorter
range weapons forward and longer range weapons to the rear to achieve
this end. As a result, the attacking enemy tanks are exposed to the
massed surprise fires and full shock of the entire antimechanized
system, and a greater percentage of targets escaping destruction from
the initial antimechanized fires can be subsequently destroyed. When
sufficient antimechanized resources are available, greater depth to the
antimechanized defense may be achieved by establishing successive
kill lines in depth. This technique provides for effective utilization of
long and short range AT weapons. Its principal limitation is that it
requires considerable depth of position plus long range and unobstructed
fields of fire. It is more readily adaptable to an area-type defense
than to mobile defense.
FMFM 9-3

40% 20%
60% HIT


~ I
I I; AIR, .
~ ~



1 1

Figure 6. --Ever Increasing Kill Probability.


The effectiveness of the landing force direct fire antitank wea-

pons is evaluated and measured in terms of hit probability; i. e., the
percent probabilty that a single round fired from an individual anti-
tank weapon at a given range will hit a hostile tank. The hit proba-
bilities of the landing force antitank weapons are comparatively low
at their rated maximum effective ranges. As a result, the planning
and coordination of antimechanized fires strive to integrate the fires
of available antitank weapons so as to ensure that they open fire at
ranges that provide reasonable good hit probabilities. Among the
factors considered in determining when an antitank weapon should
commence firing are the following:

a. Range. --Hit probability varies inversely with the range to the

target. As the range to a hostile tank decreases, the hit probability

b. Nature of the Target. - -Hit probability is significantly greater

against hostile tanks operating in open terrain. It drops sharply when
engaging hostile tanks in well concealed and/or hull-defiladed pOSitions.

c. Position of the Antitank Weapon. --An antitank weapon in the

open with little available cover or concealment may be compelled to
FMFM 9-3

adopt hit and run tactics; i. e., open fire at ranges with relatively
low hit probability and then displace to ensure its survival.

d. Mission of the Antitank Weapon. --Antitank weapons employed

with security forces or in delaying actions normally open fire at
greater ranges than when employed in blocking positions or the defense
of strongpoints.

e. Effe,ct of Firing First. --In an antimechanized operation, the

force which fires first; i. e., gets off massed, well aimed, and effec-
tive fires, normally gains a significant tactical advantage. Accord-
ingly, the advantage of holding fire to gain increased hit probabilities
is weighed against this factor.


a. Generalo - - During the amphibious assault the primary means

available to protect the landing force from the attack of hostile tanks
are the offensive tactics of the combined-arms team of the amphibious
task force. Antimechanized measures in the amphibious assault are
predicated upon the following:

(1) Destroying and/or neutralizing hostile mechanized forces

in the area of the landing as part of isolation of the battle area prior
to the assault.

(2) Denying reinforcing hostile mechanized forces access to

the area.

(3) Accelerating the development of the landing force's anti-

mechanized resources ashore.

(4) Rapidly seizing inland objectives that facilitate the develop-

ment of an effective antimechanized defense.

(5) Maintaining the momentum of the amphibious assault by

continuing development of the scheme of maneuver ashore.

(6) Planning successive antimechanized phase lines which faci-

litate the rapid assumption of an effective antimechanized defense in
case of a large-scale hostile mechanized attack.

FMFM 9-3

(7) Instituting an effective antimechanized reconnaissance/

counterreconnaissance screen well forward of the landing force's posi-

(8) Executing aggressive offensive actions against small-scale
hostile me chanized threats.

(9) Adopting an area or mobile-type defense when a large-scale

hostile mechanized attack becomes imminent.

b. Offensive Action. --The landing force cannot permit minor hostile

mechanized threats to deter its rapid development of the situation
ashore. Seizure of the landing force objectives remains paramount and
provides the best basis for an antimechanized defense. Accordingly,
the landing force exploits every opportunity to commit its antimechanized
resources in aggressive offensive action. In such operations principal
reliance is placed upon supporting arms, mechanized reserves, and
helicopterborne antimechanized forces. Such forces accomplish the

(1) Fix the hostile mechanized force with massed nuclear or

conventional fires.

(2) Flank the hostile force by the vertical maneuver of heli-

copterborne antimechanized elements or the surface maneuver of mech-
anized task force elements which establish blocking positions to the
enemy's rear. 'Nllere pOSSible, they conduct route mining operations,
to include mines sowed from aircraft, in order to contain the hostile
mechanized elements and restrict their maneuver. Care is taken in
such mining operations to ensure that the landing force's future off-
ensive maneuvers are not unduly restricted.

(3) Fight the hostile tanks with the tank-heavy elements of the
landing force supported by mobile antitank weapons and all available
supporting arms. These elements strike at the flanks or rear of the
enemy tanks and drive them into the fires of the antimechanized fix-
ing force.

c. Emergency Measures. --While the landing force as a whole per-

mits nothing to deter it from the rapid seizure of its aSSigned objec-
tives, the attack of elements of the landing force by hostile tanks in
strength during the early stages of the amphibious assault requires
that such landing force elements adopt the following emergency anti-
mechanized measures:

FMFM 9-3

(1) Landing force elements under attack establish strongpoints

on the most defensible terrain and engage hostile tanks with their
organic antitank weapons.

(2) The on call landing of antitank weapons is expedited.

(3) Helicopterborne elements of the reserve/striking force are

landed and positioned to counter the hostile threat.

(4) Massed air attacks and naval gunfire are directed against
the hostile tanks to destroy and/or neutralize- them and permit the
landing force to regain the initiative and resume the offense.


Antimechanized operations are generally conducted in accordance

with the follOwing principles:

a. Selection of Objectives. - -Terrain that presents no advantage to

attacking enemy mechanized forces is selected. Ideal terrain provides
natural defensive barriers for protection of the landing force flanks,
compels the enemy to attack frontally, and minimizes the number of
hostile tanks that may be massed in critical areas.

b. Organization for Combat. - -The landing force is task organized

and provided antimechanized resources to the degree required for
operations against the enemy.

c. Distribution and Allocation of Means. --Antimechanized means

are distributed to landing force elements on the basis of the specific
hostile mechanized threat confronting individual elements.

(1) The bulk of the landing force's antimechanized means are

massed in selected areas to cover principal avenues of hostile mech-
anized approach.

(2) Control of the bulk of mechanized means is centralized.

Initially, this control is exercised at the division level. As the hos-
tile mechanized attack develops, it is passed to the commander of the
threatened area. Planning for control of these forces is a continuous
process and the threatened commander makes requests for assistance
required in the normal manner. Training for an antimechanized oper-
ation includes extensive field exercises designed to standardize and
expedite procedures for passing control of antimechanized means.

FMFM 9-3

d. Security and Warning Plan. --A continuing estimate of hostile

mechanized capabilities is maintained in order to keep all elements
of the landing force appraised of the enemy capability to mount an
armored attack. Security elements provide antimechanized security
at all times. The basis for continuous antime chanized se curity is to
provide for the early detection of hostile armor o Ideally such forces
should be detected at distances great enough to give warning to land-
ing force units and to initiate orders to ensure their destruction or
neutralization. An adequate security and warnirig plan ensures the

(1) A positive and effective antimechanized warning system is


(2) All target acquisition agencies and reporting means are

utilized to detect and report hostile mechanized activity.

(3) The most rapid means possible are employed to transmit

information of enemy mechanized activity, to expedite evaluation of
the information, and to issue orders and warnings to affected units.

(4) All tank alerts are transmitted in the clear when there is
a possibility that encryption and decryption will delay the required

(5) Tank alerts provide for automatic passage of control of

centralized antimechanized means to the effected commander.

e. Scheme of Maneuver. --The scheme of maneuver is influenced

by the hostile mechanized threat. Careful planning ensures that the
landing force can accomplish its assigned amphibious assault mission
in spite of the hostile mechanized force. In this respect, considera-
tion is given to the following:

(1) Initial objectives ashore providing natural antimechanized

defense features.

(2) Early landing and progressive buildup of antimechanized


(3) Emplacing antimechanized resources in depth on the battle-

field as rapidly as possible.

(4) PhaSing of objectives inland to provide for the rapid as-

sumption of the antimechanized defenses at each phase line.
FMFM 9-3

(5) Shifting the landing force emphasis from the amphibious

assault role to the antimechanized defense role whenever the force as
a whole or its major elements are threatened by a large-scale enemy
tank attack.

f. Control and Coordination. --Normal control and coordination pro-

cedures for offensive and defensive combat are applicable to antimech-
anized tactics as indicated below:

(1) Higher echelons provide and coordinate fires in areas be-

yond the range of weapons organic to subordinate units.

(2) Higher echelons coordinate the defense plans of organic

units for protection of the command as a whole. Protection of the
landing force lies in the integration, coordination, and effective employ-
ment of all means.

(3) Subordinate units are responsible for their own zones of

action. Their requirements for local protection are generally met by
the use of organic means. When the armored attack comes within
range of the organic weapons of subordinate units, they coordinate and
control the delivery of all available fires as necessary.

(4) There is constant liaison and coordination between adjacent

and subordinate units to ensure integration of antimechanized fires,
barriers, position areas, etc.

g. Passive Measures. --All elements of the landing force take maxi-

mum advantage of cover and concealment in order to mislead the enemy
and to contribute to an effective antimechanized plan by ensuring that
the following are accomplished:

(1) Direct fire weapons fire from covered and concealed posi-
(2) Sites for administrative installations take full advantage of
terrain and protection afforded by the location of combat units.

(3) Maximum use is made of natural and manmade obstacles.
An effective antimechanized barrier system is preplanned and its con-
I struction is executed on order when it is required.

FMFM 9-3

h. Active Measures. --All active antimechanized means capable of

attacking hostile mechanized elements are coordinated and controlled
to the extent that:

(1) Fires of antitank weapons are under centralized control of

the affected unit in order to provide for immediate massed fires and
to gain the tactical advantage of firing first. Such fires are held in
check until there is reasonable probability of attaining a disabling hit
with the first shot fired.

(2) Hostile tanks are always given first priority on the anti-
mechanized target list. They are engaged by all units and weapons
capable of delivering fires. Direct fire antitank fires are directed
against hostile tanks where they are most vulnerable; i. e., from the
flanks and/or rear.

(3) The employment of friendly tanks is rigidly economized.

They are held under centralized control while the hostile mechanized
force is engaged by all available supporting arms and antitank weapons.
When these weapons have disrupted, delayed, and canalized the hostile
mechanized forces, friendly tanks strike the final blow as part of a

mechanized striking force.

(4) Gaps created by hostile mechanized penetrations into the

battle area are sealed by planned fires to separate hostile tanks from
their supporting infantry, combat, and service elements and to disrupt
the continuity of the attack.

(5) Friendly units on the flanks of a hostile mechanized pene-

tration "shoulder the gap" by adopting a perimeter type or strongpoint
defense. They are "boxed in" by friendly supporting artillery fires.

(6) Fire support plans and barrier systems are designed to

canalize advancing hostile mechanized forces into natural killing zones/
areas where they may be contained by massed surprise fires and ob-
stacles to their maneuver; and destroyed by a tank-heavy counterattack.

i. The Counterattack. --Counterattack plans are prepared for poss-

ible hostile mechanized penetrations.

(1) Where possible, the counterattack is not launched until the

hostile mechanized penetration has been contained.

FMFM 9-3

(2) The counterattacking force strikes deep at the rear and

flanks of the hostile mechanized penetration.

(3) Unity of command is essential and is maintained within

the striking force.

(4) Where hostile force effects more than one penetration of

the landing force positions, priority for counterattack is given to the
penetration which poses the greatest threat to the landing force.

FMFM 9-3


Section I: GENERAL


Antimechanized intelligence is required for basic decision making

at the outset of antimechanized planning in the amphibious operation
and for subsequent detailed planning. It is necessary for the prepar-
ation of the initial operation plan, its antimechanized annex, and for
the execution of antimechanized operations ashore. The fulfillment of

antimechanized intelligence requirements and the means for collection,
evaluation, and dissemination are a part of the overall intelligence
effort of the landing force. Detailed treatment of these aspects of
intelligence are presented in FMFM 2-1, Landing Force Intelligence;
FM 30-5, Combat Intelligence; and FM 30-10, Terrain Intelligence.
This section discusses the specific aspects of intelligence planning and
operations applicable to the antimechanized operation.



Antimechanized intelligence provides factual information that may

be used as a basis to estimate the enemy's mechanized capabilities and

FMFM 9-3

other information relative to terrain, weather, and hydrography in the

objective area. Antimechanized intelligence is required from the out-
set of planning in orde'r to permit basic decisions for determination of
landing force objectives, beachheads, and landing beaches and for the
development of the landing force concept of operations ashore. After
the basic decisions have been reached, increasingly detailed intelligence
of hostile mechanized capabilities is required for subsequent detailed
planning. The requirement is primarily for intelligence concerning
enemy armored capabilities expected during early phases of the assault
and for intelligence concerning the area of operation; i. e., terrain,
weather, and hydrography, that have a bearing on the commander's



Movement and concentration of enemy mechanized forces can be

accomplished rapidly, thus changing the enemy mechanized situation in
the objective area up to the last minute prior to landingo Intelligence
collection plans are designed to provide dissemination of antimechanized
intelligence during the movement to the objective area. Intelligence is
obtained through advance force and amphibious task force surveillance
resources. Dissemination is complicated by the fact that emission
control is mandatory. Planning normally provides for circumventing
this problem by employing helicopterborne messengers, airdrops, visual
signals, etc., for dissemination of the information obtained.



The nature of antimechanized operations is such that the acquisi-

tion of targets and the production of antimechanized intelligence is
cyclical throughout the operation. Selection of a sound course of action
is based, in part, on consideration of existing antimechanized intelli-
gence. After selection of a course of action, the commander has a
continuing requirement for revised and updated antimechanized intelli-

a. Requirementso --During the assault and subsequent operations

ashore, the landing force has a basic need for an antimechanized
intelligence system which provides for early detection of enemy armor.
It should be designed to operate at great distances from the landing
force and furnish rapid reports to appropriate fire support agencies
for action. This intelligence system is primarily concerned with

FMFM 9-3

the generation of target information that can be utilized by the fire

support coordination center to select appropriate means for a coordin-
ated and integrated attack of approaching hostile armor. A second
requirement is for intelligence of the enemy mechanized capabilities
and an estimate of the relative probability of the enemy's adopting
each of the alternative capabilities available to him.

b. Collection Planning. --The collection plan at each echelon of

the landing force is designed to coordinate and integrate the acquisi-
tion agencies and sources available at a particular level to permit early
detection of hostile mechanized forces so that they can be engaged by
fire well forward of the landing force positions. Complete planning
for collection of hostile mechanized intelligence is not limited to armoured
forces but extends to hostile mechanized combat support and service
elements and probable assembly areas and attack pOSitions. Addition-
ally, collection plans provide for terrain and weather intelligence as a
basis for making deductions and conclusions regarding the influence of
terrain and weather on hostile mechanized and friendly antimechanized

c. Landing Force Level Collection. --The earliest possible destruc-

tion of the enemy's mechanized forces and their reinforcing elements
requires distant antimechanized reconnaissance and surveillance. Before
the landing the continuing landing force requirement for this information
from external sources is the subject of requests by the amphibious task
force commander to the higher commands. After the landing the following
procedures apply:

(1) Plans for collection of information at the landing force

level provide for reconnaissance and surveillance to the limit of the
objective area (and by special arrangement, beyond) by appropriate
units under landing force control or by requests to the ATF.

(2) Distant reconnaissance is primarily a task for landing force

aviation. Plans provide for aerial, visual, and electronic reconnaisance
of possible avenues of approach for hostile mechanized forces. Such
reconnaissance efforts are concentrated in areas where enemy tank
activity is indicated or from which the enemy may launch a large-
scale tank attack. While landing force aviation performs the major
role in early detection of hostile mechanized forces, plans provide for
the coordinated employment of aircraft and ground reconnaissance units
and the introduction of small observation posts at considerable depths
along more favorable avenues of approach. Such activities are partic-
ularly necessary in hours of darkness and reduced visibility when

FMFM 9-3

enemy mechanized forces are most likely to close for an attack.

(3) Communication reconnaissance employing monitoring and

intercept techniques is a lucrative means of acquiring enemy mech-

anized information because of the dependence of armored forces on
radio communications.

d. Division Level Collection. --The division collection plan provides

for detection of hostile mechanized forces to the limit of reconnaissance
and surveillance capabilites of those elements organic or available to
the division. Collection efforts are directed toward avenues of approach,
likely assemble areas, and defiles leading from the assemble areas.
The division collection plan provides guidance and direction for the
information collecting efforts of air observers, ground observation
elements, organic electronic means, and units.

e. ProceSSing Antimechanized Intelligence. --The critical importance

of time in the antimechanized operation dictates that information con-
cerning hostile mechanized forces be handled expeditiously. Within a
unit headquarters of the landing force, plans provide for transmitting
information on hostile mechanized forces directly by flash procedures
to the fire support coordination center and/or other deSignated command
and control agencies. All such messages are transmitted in the clear
if encryption and decryption might cause delay. Where information of
immediate Significance is concerned, the normal intelligence process
is of lesser importance than warning affected units of the hostile mech-

anized threat. While target information is required primarily by fire
support agencies, such information is also subjected to general intelli-
gence proceSSing in order to assist the intelligence officer in his deter-
mination of enemy capabilities. Accordingly, a continuing evaluation of
enemy capabilities is made as new information and intelligence is re-
ceived and processed.

FMFM 9-3




In operations against an enemy with a significant mechanized

potential, sound planning may require the preparation of a separate
estimate of the hostile mechanized situation to be evolved jointly by
the force intelligence and antimechanized officers. This mechanized
estimate is part of the commander's overall estimate and may be
incorporated in the intelligence estimate or prepared separately as an
appendix. It brings together characteristics of the area of operations,
the enemy situation and enemy capabilities and draws conclusions
relative to possible friendly and hostile courses of action. The fac-
tors discussed in the estimate (terrain and enemy mechanized situ-
ation) are analyzed in relation to one another and are considered as
a whole in deriving the estimate of the hostile mechanized threat. The
estimate states the mission of the force and analyzes the antimech-
anized operations in terms of the characteristics of the area of oper-
ations, the enemy situation, enemy capabilities, and pertinent con-
clusions. This section analyzes these pertinent parts of this estimate.
For a more detailed discussion of the intelligence estimate, see FMFM
2-1, Landing Force Intelligence; FM 30-5, Combat Intelligence; and
FMFM 3-1, Command and Staff Action.


In describing the characteristics of the area of operations in

the antimechanized operation, the estimate places principal emphasis
on the military aspects of terrain as they affect the movement and
maneuver of hostile and friendly mechanized traffic. Factors dis-
cussed include:

a. Observation and Fields of Fire. --This section of the estimate

graphically depicts and/or describes the effects of weather, relief,
vegetation, surface, materials, manmade features, and other pertinent
aspects of the area. Effects of and on nuclear fires, chemical agents,
etc., are included as are any marked effects on surveillance devices,
equipment based on line of sight and fire delivery means. Effects on
fire include effects on delivery means, fields of fire, and effective-
ness of fires particularly as they relate to direct fire antitank type

FMFM 9-3

b. Concealment and Covero --This portion of the estimate is orien-

ted toward terrain factors that affect the protection of friendly forces
and provide cover and concealment to hostile mechanized forces. It
is largely devoted to the effect of existing cover and concealment on

the operations of friendly and hostile tanks.

c. Obstacles. --This section analyzes obstacles in the area and the

influence they exert on the maneuver of friendly and hostile mechanized
forces. This analysis is indicated graphically on an overlay or described
briefly in appropriate subparagraphs covering natural and artificial ob-
stacles in the area. When obstacles are of significant influence on
friendly and hostile mechanized operations, the effect of each obstacle
on possible friendly and enemy courses of action is indicated.

d. Key Terrain Features. --The estimate analyzes key terrain fea-

tures which affect antimechanized operations in terms of observation
and fields of fire, concealment and cover, antimechanized obstacles,
and the miSSion. In selecting key terrain features for analysis, empha-
sis is directed toward terrain features that will assist in containing,
restricting, and canalizing the movement of hostile and friendly mech-
anized means. Stress is placed on identifying natural killing areas
and/or containing zones and deducing their effect on friendly and hos-
tile forces.

e. Avenues of Approach. --Avenues of approach are identified and

analyzed in respect to other tactical aspects of the terrain. Avenues
of approach are listed or graphically portrayed on an overlay. When
published as a list, enemy avenues of approach into the landing or
battle area are listed first, followed by a list of the landing force's
avenues of apporach into the enemy battle area. Each listed avenue
of approach is accompanied by a brief discussion describing its traffic-
ability to tracked and wheeled vehicles in order to provide a basis for
analysis of possible friendly and enemy courses of action.


This portion of the estimate gives information of the hostile

mechanized forces that permits the subsequent determination of enemy
capabilities into specific courses of action and their relative probability
of adoption. Factors discussed include the following:

a. Enemy Disposition. --Presentation of enemy mechanized forces

is made by overlay and discussion with reference to enemy situation
maps or previously published and disseminated intelligence documents .

FMFM 9-3

b. Enemy Strength. --Enemy strength is discussed in this sub-

paragraph and is categorized as committed forces, reinforcements,
supporting arms, and nuclear, biological, and chemical warfare re-

c. Enemy Composition. - -This subparagraph lists all hostile units

that can interfere with the accomplishment of the landing force mission
In determining which hostile forces are most likely to interfere with
the landing force misSion, time and space factors are considered.

d. Recent and Present Significant Enemy Activities. --This sub-

paragraph lists items of information that provide a basis for analysis
in order to determine relative probability of the enemy adopting speci-
fic courses of action and to derive enemy vulnerabilities.


This portion of the estimate enumerates a listing of all possi-

ble courses of action within the capability of the enemy's mechanized
forces which can affect the accomplishment of the commander's mis-
sion. An analysis and discussion of each capability is made stating
the factors which favor or militate against its adoption by the enemy.


The estimate states conclusions as to the relative probability of

adoption of the enemy's mechanized forces capabilities, the effects of
these capabilities on the commander's mission, and enemy vulnera-
bilities that may be exploited by the landing force.

FMFM 9-3


Antimechanized operations against an enemy with a significant
mechanized potential may necessitate the preparation of special terrain
studies as part of the analysis of the area of operations. Such studies
analyze the impact of terrain in the objective area on antimechanized/
mechanized operations in more detail than the characteristics of the
objective area normally described in the intelligence estimate. Such
a terrain study presents an analysis and interpretation of the natural
and manmade characteristics of the area and their effect on antimech-
anized/mechanized operations. It is prepared by the antimechanized
officer in conjunction with the G-2, tank officer, and the engineer
officer. It provides backup data for the intelligence estimate and is
used by command and staff officers for the planning and execution of
antimechanized operation. The preparation of an analysis of an area
of operations is discussed in detail in FM 30- 5, Combat Intelligence.
This section discusses the aspects of terrain studies pertinent to
antimechanized operations.


a. The terrain study in the antimechanized operation is not a com-

pilation of all the terrain intelligence available of some particular
area, but only that information that will have a Significant impact- on

the conduct of antimechanized/mechanized operations. It is prinCipally
concerned with military aspects of the terrain and the influence they
exert upon the fire and maneuver of hostile and friendly mechanized
and antimechanized resources to include:

(1) Mechanized trafficability throughout the area of operations.

(2) Principal routes of approach and communications for mech-

anized traffic.

(3) Observation and fields of fire for hostile mechanized and

landing force antimechanized fires.

(4) Cover and concealment available to hostile mechanized and

friendly antimechanized forces.


FMFM 9-3

(5) Location of natural containing areas and/or killing zones.

(6) Key terrain features which canalize or restrict the maneuver

of hostile mechanized forces and/or force them to mass and present a
profitable nuclear target.

(7) Natural obstacles and manmade features in the objective

area which lend themselves to incorporation into an effective barrier

(8) The delineation of specific areas which provide natural

antimechanized protection to elements of the landing force and faci-
litate the adoption of an effective antimechanized defense.

(9) The impact of weather on the fire and maneuver of hostile

mechanized forces in the landing area.

(10) Characteristics of the beach area and routes of egress

and the impact they exert upon the rapid development of the landing
force antimechanized resources ashore.

b. The terrain study is best expressed through graphic or visual

means; i. e., maps, overlays, and photographs. In the anitmechanized
operation, maneuver and trafficability maps of the area of operations
are prepared. Such maps are shaded and/or tinted to indicate the areas
in which hostile and friendly tanks may operate. An example of such
a map is depicted in figure 7.


The landing force commander is responsible for defining the

scope of required terrain studies well in advance of projected antimech-
anized operations. Prior to initiating the study the following should
be defined:

a. The area to be covered.

b. The mission of the landing force.

c. Characteristics of mechanized/antimechanized resources avail-

able to the landing force.

d. Characteristics of hostile tanks and mechanized weapons.


__ __ _ ______---------.J
FMFM 9-3

Figure 7. --Maneuver and Trafficability Map.

The specific information required.

f. The time period to be covered.


Appendix A presents an outline form for a terrain study. It is

annotated to indicate military aspects of the terrain which are critical
to the conduct of mechanized/antimechanized operations. The primary ,
requirement for a terrain study is that it presents the intelligence in
a form that can be easily used by landing force elements. The study
should be conCise, presenting only pertinent information. Written
description is kept to a minimum, and intelligence is graphically repre-
sented wherever possible.


FMFM 9-3



Antimechanized operations require integrated long range recon-

naissance, surveillance, and communication systems to detect hostile
mechanized forces, alert landing force elements of their approach,
and provide for bringing enemy tanks under attack as far forward of
the landing area as possible. Distant reconnaissance and early warn-
ing generate a requirement for an aggressive air-ground reconnaissance
and surveillance effort. This section discusses the nature, planning,
and execution of the reconnaissance effort in the antimechanized oper-
ation. For a more detailed discussion of reconnaissance plans and
operations see FMFM 2 -1, Landing Force Intelligence; and FMFM 2-2,
Amphibious Reconnaissance.


Antimechanized reconnaissance is initiated by advance force

surface and air reconnaissance and surveillance elements. It includes
amphibious reconnaissance conducted by personnel landed from seaward
to collect information on enemy mechanized forces in the objective area.
Extensive and continuing high altitude photoreconnaissance missions
are conducted in depth throughout the objective area well in advance
of the landing and are continued through the operation. When the
objective area is large and the hostile mechanized threat significant,
amphibious reconnaissance personnel augmented with ground radar and
listening equipment may be landed in depth to maintain surveillance
over probable avenues of hostile mechanized approach in order to pro-
vide timely warning of hostile mechanized attack. Planning for amphi-
bious reconnaissance is completed far enough in advance of the landing
operations to ensure adequate time for executing units to make necessary
preparations, conduct the reconnaissance, and report the information.
Plans provide for transmission of information from within the objective
area and for interrogation of personnel after a reconnaissance is com-
pleted. Such plans are normally delineated in a reconnaissance plan
which is published as an annex to the operation plan.


Aerial visual reconnaissance is conducted from high performance

aircraft, helicopters, and fixed-wing light observation aircraft. Such
aircraft are the primary means available for long range reconnaissance

FMFM 9-3

and surveillance and constitute the backbone of the landing force anti-
mechanized warning system. Aerial visual reconnaissance provides
a rapid means of acquiring current information on hostile mechanized
activity and installations as well as terrain features which affect mech-
anized and antimechanized operations. It supplements and extends
ground visual reconnaissance and observation and is necessary to pro-
vide an effective antimechanized warning system in the objective area.

a. The quantity and quality of information obtained by aerial visual

reconnaissance are restricted by weather enemy countermeasures,
and the visual acuity of the pilot or observer, particularly pilots in
fighter and attack-type aircraft. Night aerial visual reconnaissance
is practical in the antimechanized operation, particularly against moving
hostile mechanized forces. It is generally restricted to searching and
reporting on specific routes and areas.

b. There are three types of aerial visual reconnaissance employed

in the antimechanized operation:

(1) Area Search. --Area search is reconnaissance conducted at

intervals over a prescribed area for a specified period of time. It is
employed during the initial phase of the amphibious assault and con-
tributes to the antimechanized operation by locating hostile mechanized
forces. Thereafter, it can be conducted in great depth to locate,
track, and provide for the engagement of the enemy's mechanized re-

(2) Specific Search. --Specific search is reconnaissance of

specific activities or terrain features. Such search is most frequently
directed in the followup of information derived by area search or other
means. Specific searches as part of the antimeclianized warning system
are directed against possible hostile mechanized assembly areas, attack
pOSitions, and key terrain features which canalize the maneuver of hos-
tile mechanized forces.

(3) Route Reconnaissance. --Route reconnaissance is visual ob-

servation along likely hostile routes of communications or over probable
avenues of approach. It is specifically directed against hostile mech-
anized forces on the move and is conducted in considerable depth from
the landing force pOSitions.

c. Aerial visual reconnaissance is planned to meet the specific

requirements of the antimechanized operation. During the planning
phase the landing force commander submits requests and

FMFM 9-3

recommendations for aerial visual reconnaissance required to main-

tain an effective antimechanized warning system to the amphibious task
force commander for inclusion in the overall air plan for the operation.
Deep aerial visual reconnaissance required by antimechanized operations
is normally flown in attack or fighter aircraft. Such missions are
integrated with armed reconnaissance and interdiction missions. When
operating against an enemy with considerable mechanized forces,
appropriate aerial ordnance for attack of armored targets is carried.
The landing force aviation commander may be assigned responsibility
for developing detailed recommendations for such missions. Accord-
ingly, the landing force commander provides guidance to the aviation
commander as to specific areas and routes where antimechanized
reconnaissance is required. He also monitors plans to ensure that
they are in consonance with his requirements for information of hos-
tile mechanized forces.

d. Light observation aircraft, either fixed or rotary wing, with

trained observers are most effective for close -in battlefield aerial
visual reconnaissance and observation support of ground combat units.
They fill the gap between ground reconnaissance and deep air recon-
naissance. Accordingly, plans provide for the availability of such air-
craft at the earliest practicable time in the amphibious assault.

e. Air observation nets are established for reporting information

and for assignment of missions. Rapid response to immediate infor-
mation requirements is best obtained by establishing the net control
station in the intelligence section area. Additional stations are located
in the operations section area and in the fire support coordination

f. When aircraft equipped with moving target indicators, infrared

detection equipment, or other types of all weather observation means
are available, they are used to supplement aerial visual reconnaissance
at night and under adverse weather conditions. Guidelines for the
employment of visual re connaissance aircraft are applicable to the
employment of aircraft equipped with such devices.


Aerial photographic reconnaissance provides a major means for

developing information of the enemy's mechanized forces and of terrain
conditions in the objective area that will influence the maneuver of
enemy and friendly mechanized forces. It is particularly valuable
prior to the assault phase of the amphibious operation when close visual
reconnaissance is usually not feasible.
FMFM 9-3

a. Capabilities and Limitations. --Aerial photography possesses

the capability to subject areas to day-by-day and week-by-week analysiS.
In addition, aerial photos yield accurate, recorded information that can

be reproduced in quantity. Aerial photographic reconnaissance can
obtain information on otherwise inaccessible areas. With proper film,
camouflaged mechanized forces can be revealed. The limitations of
aerial photographic reconnaissance are similar to those of aerial visual
reconnaissance since both rely on optical me:;t,ns. Weather and light
conditions must be satisfactory. Photography must be of proper scale
to permit interpretation for specific items, and there is a time lag
between the request for and final delivery and interpretation of required

b. Photographic Agencies. --Prior to the assault, theater air for-

ces, attack carrier striking forces, and shore-based Navy and Marine
photographic squadrons provide the bulk of aerial photography in the
objective area. Subsequently, their efforts are augmented by photo-
graphic aircraft, Navy and Marine, from the support carrier group
and by Marine photographic aircraft phased into the objective area.
Observation aircraft assigned to support of ground forces also provide
limited aerial photography.

c. PhotographiC Plano --The photographiC plan for the amphibious

task force is prepared jointly by the amphibious task force and landing
force commanders. This plan reflects the photographic requirements
of subordinate landing force units and is adjusted to the capabilities of
the photographic reconnaissance agencies. The landing force commander
provides guidance to subordinate units concerning the availability of
photographic reconnaissance means. Based on this guidance, subordinate
units submit requests to the landing force commander for aerial photo-
graphy. These requests are consolidated into the overall photographic

d. Photographic Requirements. --The following types of aerial photo-

graphy are normally required in the antimechanized operation:

(1) Basic Cover. --Basic cover is one time vertical coverage

of the entire objective area or of selected areas within the objective
area. It serves primarily for terrain analysis and assists in isolating
and defining the areas in which friendly and hostile mechanized forces
may operate. Additionally, it detects areas of major interest to the
enemy's mechanized forces.


FMFM 9-3

(2) Beach Photography. --Beach photography may include both

vertical and oblique coverage at varying scales of the area from off-
shore inland to a depth of 10,000 to 15,000 meters. Beach photo-
graphy is used for detailed beach and terrain analysis. It assists in
identifying enemy defensive installations, obstacles, minefields, and
antitank weapons that may impede the development of the landing force's
antimechanized resources ashore.

(3) Helicopter Landing Zone Photography. --Helicopter landing

zone photography usually includes vertical coverage at medium scales
radiating 10,000 to 15,000 meters from the centers of the zones and
large-scale coverage of the zones proper, plus selected oblique pho-
tography. This photography is used for the same purposes as beach
photography. Landing zone photography is supplemented by maneuver
photography of helicopter approach and retirement lanes.

(4) Surface Assault Force Maneuver Photography. --Surface

assault maneuver photography is support of elements moving overland
routes of approach. It is used for terrain analysis and for detection
and identification of enemy mechanized forces along the route of ad-
vance. Such photography is particularly valuable in planning mech-
anized/striking force operations and analyzing possible attack and
counterattack routes.

(5) Enemy Maneuver Photography. --Enemy maneuver photo-

graphy is photography of possible routes of apporach to enemy mech-
anized forces. Since principal movement of such forces may nor-
mally be anticipated at night, this photography is flown at the earliest
time light conditions permit in order to detect enemy units before they
are well camouflaged and off roads. Additionally, when a night photo-
graphic capability is available, it is exploited to the maximum extent

(6) Special Cover. --Special cover is photography of specific

targets or objectives. Special cover is flown to obtain specific in-
formation derived by other means.


Intensive reconnaissance and observation of the objective area

by ground elements of the landing force commence with the assault
and continue throughout the ope ratio-n , providing inte lligence and in-
formation to fulfill requirements for anticipated antimechanized oper-
ations. \Vhether or not there is initial contact between the landing force

FMFM 9-3

and hostile mechanized forces, the possible inadequacy of preliminary

intelligence concerning enemy mechanized capabilities dictates that the
reconnaissance and observation in the assault phase be carefully plan-
ned and aggressively executed.

a. Initially, assault units can be assigned areas or zones of ob-

servation within which they are responsible for ground reconnaissance
and observation. These areas generally coincide with zones of action,
sectors, or area of responsibility. Subsequently, additional specific
reconnaissance and observation missions are assigned as necessary
in order to obtain sufficient or needed antimechanized intelligence.
The landing force is responsible for the planning and conduct of ground
reconnaissance and the observation of areas not assigned to subordinate
units. Such reconnaissance and observation may be conducted by re-
connaissance units retained under landing force control or by reserve
units of the landing force. Observation and surveillance of the battle-
field are delineated by the organization of observation (0-0) line to
delineate the depth of responsibility for the division ground observation.

b. The major reconnaissance and observation effort for antimech-

anized operations is concentrated on determining the location of enemy
tank formations. In order to avoid dissipation of effort, landing force
observation and surveillance agencies concentrate along prinCipal ave-
nues of hostile mechanized approach and tank trafficable areas that
may be used for assembly areas or attack positions. The ground re-
connaissance and observation effort is integrated with that of other
collection means. Aerial reconnaissance by helicopters and light air-

craft is used to increase the depth of ground reconnaissance. They
permit prompt establishment and rapid shifting of observation to provide
continuous surveillance and detection of hostile mechanized forces.
Ground reconnaissance and surveillance agencies deployed with security
forces are pOSitioned in greater depth at night and in periods of reduced
visibility. This prevents hostile mechanized units from closing rapidly
and penetrating or enveloping landing force positions. Electronic,
seismic, and infrared surveillance equipment is used to supplement
visual observation during such periods.

(1) Based on his knowledge of the area of operations and the

composition and disposition of the hostile mechanized forces, the in-
telligence officer recommends the points for the establishment of deep
observation over logical avenues of hostile mechanized approach early
in the landing. Observation posts may be established by helicopter or
parachute -landed troops.

48 \
FMFM 9-3

(2) Communications are provided between these deep observa-

tion posts, supporting air elements, and the landing force and other
headquarters to ensure that once hostile forces are detected, alerts
and warnings can be immediately disseminated, antimechanized pre-
parations implemented, and attack of approaching hostile armor initi-


Communication reconnaissance is the interception and analysis

of transmissions over hostile signal communications, primarily radio
communications. The control and coordination of hostile mechanized
forces require significant transmission of radio traffic. The monitoring
of such communications can provide detailed information on enemy order
of battle, composition, strength, and disposition. Under favorable
conditions, it may provide information on enemy plans. Information
derived by communication reconnaissance is given limited distribution;
i. e., key staff officers and commanders involved. Under no circum-
stance is the source of such information divulged to other than spec-
ifically authorized personnel. Operations of landing force communica-
tion reconnaissance units are planned to supplement the area, fleet,
and amphibious task force communication reconnaissance effort. Most
effective results are obtained by centralized control and direction of
the communication reconnaissance effort. Depending on the means
available to exploit communication reconnaissance at lower levels,
communication reconnaissance unit(s) may be assigned in direct support
of subordinate landing force units. Intercept units, particularly those
designed to operate against enemy voice radio cirCUits, are often assigned
to support infantry regiments and even battalions.

a. Communication reconnaissance units are assigned specific mis-

sions. In antimechanized operations the priority of effort of such units
under landing force control is to determine the location and identifica-
tion of hostile tank units. Other appropriate missions include deter-
mining the composition, strength, and dispOSition of hostile mechanized
forces in prescribed areas or checking on the movements of specific
mechanized units.

b. Provision is made for the early landing of communication re-

connaissance elements when a major hostile mechanized threat exists.
Appropriate security of the installations is ensured by attaching them
to appropriate assault unit(s) headquarters. In order to exploit the
communications of the enemy's approaching or reserve mechanized

~ 49
FMFM 9-3

units, communication reconnaissance units can be landed by helicop-

ter deep within the objective area at suitable locations for intercepting
hostile mechanized signal transmissions. Also, airborne means may
be used to intercept hostile mechanized signal communications.


FMFM 9-3



Section I: GENERAL


Marine Corps doctrine for the planning and execution of the

amphibious assault is presented in LFM 01, Doctrine for Amphib-
ious Operations; LFM 02, Doctrine for Landing Forces; FMFM 6-1,
Marine Division; and FMFM 3-1, Command and Staff Action. The
basic concepts and principles for the planning and execution of am-
phibious operations prescribed in these publications remain valid
and are specifically applicable to planning and executing the
antimechanized operation. Antimechanized operations within the frame-
work of the amphibious assault rely heavily on offensive measures to
eliminate any mechanized threat to the landing force. A defensive
posture is assumed only to counter an imminent enemy tank attack.
This chapter describes their planning and execution. It is principally
concerned with the development of specific antimechanized plans, dis-
cussing other amphibious plans only to the extent that they relate to
antimechanized operations.


Throughout the amphibious planning cycle planners are concerned

with providing the prerequisite antimechanized measures and means re-
quired to counter the specific hostile mechanized threat confronting the

FMFM 9-3

landing force. Antimechanized planning by the landing force is essen-

tially a problem of coordinating and integrating antimechanized re-
sources. Concurrent and parallel planning ensures effective employ-
ment of antimechanized means by the amphibious task force and land-
ing force commanders. The basic objectives of antimechanized plan-
ning are to provide for the following:

a. Estimating the enemy's mechanized capabilities prior to the

amphibious assault and throughout the execution of operations ashore.

b. Determining the mechanized trafficability of the area of oper-


c. Selecting terrain which facilitates antimechanized operations.

d. Developing a scheme a maneuver which facilitates the movement

of the force across the beach, and ensures the rapid development of
antimechanized means ashore.

e. Determining and procuring adequate antimechanized resources

for prelanding operations, the assault landing, and operations ashore.

f. Distributing and/or allocating available antimechanized means

to ensure the best possible all-round antimechanized defense.

g. Instituting an effective distant antimechanized surveillance, warn-

ing, and attack system.

h. Prescribing antimechanized conditions of readiness and pre-
arranged plans for passing control of antimechanized resources.

i. Restricting, destroying, and/or neutralizing hostile mechanized

forces in the area of landing.

j. Accelerating the development of antimechanized means ashore.

k. PrOViding for emergency antimechanized measures during the

early phases of an amphibious assault.

1. Integrating all available fire support resources into an effective

antimechanized weapons system.

m. Preparing specific antimechanized defense and antimechanized

fire plans to counter specific hostile mechanized threats that are likely
to be encountered during the operation.
FMFM 9-3

n. Constructing an integrated natural and artificial barrier system.

o. Rehearsing antimechanized plans.



In the amphibious operation normal command responsibilites

apply to antimechanized planning. The amphibious task force comman-
der is responsible for coordination of the planning of overall antimech-
anized means and the preparation of coordinated antimechanized fire
support plans for the initial phase of the operation. The landing force
commander is responsible for clearly delineating the antimechanized
responsibilities at each command level of the landing force. In addi-
tion, he is responsible for the following:

a. Determining the landing force requirements for antimechanized

means and ensuring that the resources are integrated within the plan-
ned scheme of maneuver.

b. Presenting and coordinating requests for additional antimech-

anized means for the landing force with the amphibious task force
commander and/or appropriate Fleet Marine Force agencies.

c. Preparing the landing force overall antimechanized plan(s).


Antimechanized planning is carried out concurrently with other

planning for the operation. It is normally conducted in accordance with
the following sequence:

a. The basic directive for the operation is received by the landing

force commander. After receipt of this directive, the commander,
assisted by his staff, goes through the usual sequence of steps in
arriving at a decision and formulating the commander's concept of the

b. The intelligence estimate (hostile mechanized estimate) is pre-

pared by the intelligence officer with the assistance of the antimech-
anized officer. The enemy's mechanized capabilites may be determined
as part of the overall enemy strength and capability within the

FMFM 9-3

intelligence estimate or by a separate hostile mechanized estimate as

described in chapter 2 of this manual.

c. An estimate of the anti me chanized situation is prepared under

the staff cognizance of the operations officer by the antimechanized
officer. The preparation of such an estimate is outlined in paragraph
3303 of this chapter.

d. When the commander's decision has been reached and his con-
cept of operations issued to the staff, detailed staff estimates are pre-
pared for the purposes of determining accurate antimechanized require-
ments and formulating necessary antimechanized plans. These anti-
mechanized staff estimates are prepared by appropriate staff sections
with the assistance of the antimechanized officer. Antimechanized
information which is essential to parallel and subordinate planning
agencies involved in antimechanized planning is disseminated as early
as practicable.

e. Based upon detailed staff estimates, the landing force command-

er develops his antimechanized requirements for preassault operations,
assault operations, and subsequent operations ashore. He coordinates
these requirements with the amphibious task force commander.

f. "Wllen sufficient detailed instructions are firm, the operations

officer, assisted by the antimechanized officer, prepares the anti-
mechanized plan(s) based on the commander's deCision, instructions
from higher headquarters, the tactical plan, the detailed special staff

estimates, and recommendations from other staff officers. After the
antimechanized plan(s) is approved by the commander, it is issued an
annex to the operation plan.

g. Subsequently, the antimechanized plan(s) is revised as necessary

to reflect the actual availability of antimechanized resources, provided
on the basis of previously submitted requirements.


Appropriate staff officers at all levels have specific responsi-

bilities with respect to antimechanized operations. These antimech-
anized responsibilities are an inherent part of normal staff duties
during the planning and execution of amphibious operations.

a. Operations Officer. --The operations officer considers enemy

mechanized tactics in the preparation of estimates, plans, and orders.

FMFM 9-3

He continually appraises the tactical situation and recommends and

prepares orders for tactical employment of antimechanized means as

b. Antimechanized Officer. --A specific staff officer appointed for

this purpose or the commanding officer of the organic, attached, or
supporting antitank unit normally performs special duties as antimech-
anized officer. He assists in the preparation of staff estimates and
orders by providing detailed technical information on antimechanized
matters. He maintains a detailed current situation map as to the
location and capabilities of all antimechanized means and recommends
their use.

c. Intelligence Officer. --The intelligence officer collects and dis-

seminates information and intelligence relative to the hostile mech-
anized threat. He includes this information in intelligence estimates
and annexes, and appraises interested staff officers of changes in the
enemy me chanized situation.

d. Tank Officer. --In the event a tank unit is attached or in support,

the commanding officer of that unit normally performs special staff
duties as tank officer. He recommends the employment of tanks in
support of antimechanized operations.

e. Engineer Officer. --The engineer officer is responsible for pre-

paring a barrier plan. He also gives technical advice on engineer
employment in antimechanized actions and makes provision for the
necessary heavy equipment to emplace and dig in antimechanized

f. Air, Naval Gunfire, and Artillery Special Staff Officers. --Air,

naval gunfire, and artillery officers develop detailed and coordinated
recommendations for fires to support antimechanized operations. In-
dividual antimechanized fire plans are developed to cover avenues of
approach into the landing force battle areas and to mass antimech-
anized fires in deSignated killing zones.

g. Fire Support Coordinator. --The fire support coordinator, ad-

vised and assisted by supporting arms special staff officers, the anti-
mechanized officer, and the target information officer is responsible
for coordinating the fires of artillery, naval gunfire, and air support
in antimechanized actions.

FMFM 9-3

h. Communication-Electronics Officer. --The communication-elec-

tronics officer makes recommendations pertaining to and coordinates
communications required in antimechanized action. The communication-
electronics officer ensures that communication facilites are available
to control all antimechanized resources. Frequencies are assigned for
special nets as required for prompt execution of antimechanized oper-


Basic antimechanized planning considerations are derived from

the commander's estimate of his antimechanized situation; i. e., mission,
enemy, terrain and weather, and troops and fire support available
(METT). In making his estimate of the situation, the commander
takes into consideration all factors that influence the employment of
his antimechanized resources and affect the execution of antimechanized
operations. The estimate of the situation is essentially a problem-
solving process des'igned to select the antimechanized course of action
which offers the greatest possibility of success. ConSideration of the
factors of METT is begun prior to the operation and continues through-
out. It encompasses the following aspects of these factors:

a. Mission, --The mission of the landing force in the antimech-

anized operation is considered in terms of the following:

(1) Scope and extent of advance force operations.

(2) Projected assault operations and fire support requirements.

(3) Front and depth of main and supporting attacks.

(4) Relative concentration and/or dispersion of the landing


(5) Extent of the battle area, laterally and in depth.

(6) Projected length of the operation.

b. Enemy. --The capabilities of the hostile mechanized force are

considered in terms of the following:

(1) Overall strength of the hostile mechanized force.

(2) CompOSition, strength, and disposition of hostile

mechanized forces in the area of the landing.
FMFM 9-3

(3) Composition, strength, and disposition of hostile mechanized

reserves, and projected estimates as to when and where these forces
can be expected to engage the landing force.

(4) Air support and anti-air warfare capabilities of the hostile

mechanized force and/or available from other enemy forces in the
objective area.

(5) Fire support capability of the hostile mechanized force.

(6) Number, type, and characteristics of tanks and mechanized

vehicles available to the hostile force.

(7) Tactics and techniques employed by the hostile force.

(8) Nuclear, biological, and chemical capabilities of the hostile


(9) Antitank weapon capabilities of the hostile force.

c. Terrain and Weather. --Terrain and weather in the objective

area and their probable effects on the employment of hostile mechanized
and friendly antimechanized resources are considered in terms of the

(1) The probable effects of weather on landing force and hostile

air support elements.

(2) The effect of terrain and weather on the progressive dev-

elopment of antimechanized resources ashore.

(3) Trafficability within the objective area.

(4) Natural obstacles and/or barriers existing in the objective


(5) Number, extent, and disposition of probable avenues of

approach for the advance of hostile tanks.

(6) Number, extent, and relative location of natural containing

areas which restrict and/or delay the advance of hostile mechanized
tanks or force the enemy to mass and present a profitable nuclear

FMFM 9-3

(7) Number, extent, and relative location of natural antimech-

anized killing zones.

(8) Overall capacity of terrain in the objective area to provide

antimechanized protection to the landing force and facilitate the adop-
tion of an effective antimechanized defense.

(9) Time and space factors and the restrictions they impose
upon the fire and maneuver capabilites of the landing force and the
hostile force.

(10) Extent and capacity of existing road nets to support hostile

mechanized and landing force antimechanized operations.

d. Troop and Antimechanized Resources Available. --Troops and

antimechanized resources available to the landing force to conduct
antimechanized operations are conSidered in terms of the following:

(1) Overall antimechanized capability of the landing force.

(2) Antimechanized capabilities of component elements of the

landing force and requirements for reinforcements.

(3) Availability of tanks, Ontos, antitank weapons, and support-

ing arms.

(4) Antimechanized resources available from the amphibious

task force and higher headquarters.

(5) Availability of aircraft.

(6) Availability of anti-air warfare resources.

(7) Status and availability of nuclear, biological, and chemical


(8) Availability of mechanized and helicopter-lifted elements

to support antimechanized operations.

(9) Availability of antitank munitions.

(10) Availability of engineer units, land mines, material, and

heavy equipment for barrier construction and preparation of antitank
weapon pOSitions.

FMFM 9-3



The development of specific antimechanized plans in the amphi-

bious planning cycle depends upon sound and timely decisions as to the
landing force's objectives ashore and its subsequent scheme of maneuver,
the determination of requirements for antimechanized resources, the
assignment of tactical missions to these antimechanized resources, and
the methods and means for rapidly developing antimechanized resources
ashore. This section discusses the nature of these decisions and the
planning factors that are considered.



The need for defensible terrain is given careful consideration

during each phase of an amphibious assault against an enemy possessing
a Significant mechanized potential. To compensate for the inherent
scarcity of antimechanized resources in the initial stage of the amphi-
bious assault, landing force planners select initial objectives and evolve
a scheme of maneuver that exploits the terrain characteristics of the
objective area and provides natural protection against attack by hostile

a. Selection of Objectives. --Wherever possible, landing force plan-

ning strives to avoid engaging a mechanized enemy on ground of his
own choosing; i. e., terrain which permits the hostile force complete
freedom of maneuver.

(1) Beach characteristics and exits in the landing area should

facilitate the rapid development of the landing force's antimechanized
resources ashore.

(2) Terrain in the area of the landing should provide natural

obstacles to the flanks of the landing force which restrict the number
of avenues of approach for hostile mechanized traffic into the landing
area and limit the number of enemy tanks that can engage the landing
force in any specific locality.

(3) Terrain at the force beachhead line (FBHL) should facilitate

the establishment of a strong antimechanized defense by presenting a
natural barrier system to the enemy's mechanized forces and com-
pelling them to attack frontally.

FMFM 9-3

(4) It is highly desirable that intervening terrain provide read-

ily identifiable natural phase lines and antimechanized killing zones
which provide antimechanized protection, expedite the rapid adoption
of an effective antimechanized defense, and facilitate the massing of
antimechanized fires.

b. Terrain Considerations. --In analyzing the operational area,

planners consider the beachhead and the terrain to the flanks, paying
special attention to obstacles and potential obstacles such as built -up
areas. Terrain with natural obstacles that canalizes and/or forces
hostile armor units to mass along routes of approach into the beach-
head or defensive area is highly desirable. Planning provides for
maximum use of such terrain in order to provide a greater degree of
antimechanized protection and more effective employment of antimech-
anized resources. When dispersion of landing force elements is nec-
essary to provide protection against enemy nuclear weapons, the re-
quirement for an extensive analysis of terrain is emphasized. Dis-
persed forces generally dictate a decentralization of the antimechanized
resources available to the landing force. Accordingly, such landing
force elements are compelled to rely more heavily upon the natural
antimechanized protection provided by terrain than when they are con-
centrated and provided with highly mobile and centralized antimech-
anized reserves.

c. Desirable Terrain Features. --The most attractive terrain feature

for planning and executing antimechanized operations is dominating
ground that offers natural cover and concealment, clearly defined anti-

mechanized killing areas, and abstacles to hostile mechanized maneuver
such as swamps, unfordable streams, steep ridges, and narrow defiles.
Such terrain facilitates the integrated employment of the landing force's
antimechanized resources without impeding the impetus of the landing
force'S assault. In this respect, the landing force's primary mission
is to seize its assigned objectives. No terrain can be considered
desirable which detracts from this purpose.

d. Antimechanized Scheme of Maneuver. - -In the development of the

landing force scheme of maneuver ashore, planners give continuing
consideration to the selection of terrain which complements antimech-
anized plans and operations. Successive antimechanized phase lines
may be used to break down the overall operation into a number of
logical and manageable planning and operational parts. As such, they
serve as ready reference points to orient planners as to the status
of the landing force, and at the same time, indicate when prearranged
plans for successive stages of the antimechanized operation should be
executed. Such phase lines are selected to delineate natural

FMFM 9-3

antimechanized killing zones and to establish successive firm bases

from which projected antimechanized operations may be conducted.
These bases move inland as successive objectives and phase lines
are seized. Antimechanized plans are developed and/or modified as
necessary to provide for the execution of an effective full scale anti-
mechanized defense at each succeeding antimechanized phase line.
(See fig. 8. )



a. General. --The determination of the landing force's requirements

for antimechanized resources, especially aircraft, tanks, and Ontos,
and their subsequent procurement, establishes the landing force's
antimechanized capabilites. The final decision in the determination of
requirements for anti me chanized resources is based on a continuing
evaluation of the hostile mechanized threat in specific terms to deter-
mine the following:

(1) When and where the landing force will come in contact with
the hostile mechanized force.

(2) What tank strength the enemy is capable of massing at

specific points.

(3) What means the landing force requires to counter this


b. Scope of Antimechanized Requirements. --In the amphibious

assault against an enemy possessing a significant mechanized potential,
the evaluation, analysis, and determination of specific antimechanized
requirements are designed to provide adequate resources, to include:

(1) A combined air and naval gunfire capability sufficient to

destroy and/or neutralize any hostile mechanized forces in the area
of the landing.

(2) Sufficient aircraft to maintain a significant degree of air

superiority in the objective area and to:

(a) Conduct long range reconnaissance, counterreconnaissance,

and antimechanized missions.

FMFM 9-3




JI ~~U

~ t' ~
~~ ~

LD :% .%
~ - i:
~ 3:::3 x
~~ X





Figure 8. --Phasing Antimechanized Operations Within the Amphibious


FMFM 9-3

(b) Restrict, delay, and canalize the movement of hostile

mechanized reinforcing elements.

(c) Destroy such forces or attrite them by fire to the

degree that the landing force is able to destroy surviving tanks with
organic antitank weapons and other antimechanized resources.

(3) A combined artillery and naval gunfire capability sufficient

to provide for maSSing of fires along principal avenues of hostile
mechanized approach and into predesignated killing zones forward of
and within the battle area.

(4) Light antitank assault weapons to all infantry units on an

individual basis.

(5) Mechanized direct fire antitank weapons (tanks and Ontos)

to provide direct support to landing force elements operating along
principal avenues of hostile mechanized approach.

(6) A mobile tank-heavy striking force of combined arms that

can deploy rapidly to deSignated killing areas and possesses sufficient
combat power to contain and destroy and hostile mechanized penetration
into the landing force's pOSitions.

(7) Adequate antitank munitions for the landing force's weapons

and the weapons of all supporting elements external to the landing

(8) Adequate nuclear delivery agencies and nuclear munitions

in size and type to destroy hostile mechanized forces in depth and/or
engage them forward of or within the battle area.

(9) Adequate chemical munitions to lay perSistent toxic barriers

in depth inland along probable avenues of approach and in hostile mech-
anized assembly areas to inhibit the maneuver of reinforcing hostile
tanks and their supporting elements and to delay tanks and mechanized
forces from reaching the landing area.

(10) Adequate engineer support, heavy equipment, and mines

to facilitate the rapid construction of an effective barrier system and
to construct defiladed positions for the landing force's antitank weapons.

c. Interrelationship of Antimechanized Resources. --The availability

and requirements for one antimechanized means affects the availability

FMFM 9-3

and requirements for all others. In this respect, the ability of the
force commander to substitute one antimechanized means for another
determines the degree of flexibility that may be incorporated into his
antimechanized plans. All important in this matter is the balance that
the commander strikes between his air antimechanized resources and
ground antitank resources. The following are considered in determining
this balance:

(1) Knowing the total number of hostile tanks opposing him

and the kill capabilities of available air support, the commander can
determine his requirements for antitank weapons in the antimechanized

(2) Conversely, knowing the kill capabilities of his ground anti-

tank weapons and other antimechanized resources, the commander can
determine his requirements for air support.

d. Requirements Planning. --During the planning cycle staff officers

include in the preparation of estimates consideration of the adequacy
of the antimechanized means within their concern or under their cogni-
zance. Specific requirements for countering hostile mechanized threats
during all phases of the operation are determined on the basis of the
antimechanized considerations applicable to the operation. Analysis of
requirements is a continuing responsibility requiring careful screening
and study to prevent the omission of any essential items or unnecessary
inclusion of equipment, personnel, or materiel. Provision is made for
loss of antimechanized means due to enemy action, the characteristics
of the area, and any foreseen contingencies involved in the operation.
When the overall antimechanized requirements have been determined,
they are weighed against the antimechanized means available within
the landing force to determine any additional landing force antimech-
anized requirements.

e. Availability of Antimechanized Resources. --As soon as the total

antimechanized resources are known, antimechanized plans are devel-
oped to reflect the actual availability of those resources. When suffi-
cient antimechanized resources are not available from higher authority
for assignment to the ATF to enable it to ensure the landing force of
the required preponderance of combat power to overcome the hostile
mechanized force, one of the following actions is necessary:

(1) Fleet theater air may reduce the hostile mechanized force
to enable the ATF to achieve the required combat superiority in the
objective area.

FMFM 9-3

(2) The landing may be changed to a different locality.

(3) The operation may be canceledo



The assignment of tactical missions and/or attachment of anti-

mechanized resources is reflected in the organization for combat of
the landing force and its component elements. The principal problem
in planning assignment of missions to these resources is to strike a
balance between the requirements of the landing force as a whole and
its subordinate elements. It is uneconomical and impracticable to
provide all landing force units with all the antimechanized resources
they might require to offset all possible antimechanized contingencies.
Therefore, principal reliance is placed upon massing antimechanized
resources along principal avenues of approach and maintaining a highly
mobile and tank-heavy striking force/reserve capable of immediate
deployment to any point in the landing force'S area of operations. Plan-
ners seek to provide centralized control of antimechanized resources
insofar as practicable to ensure their integrated and mass employment.

a. Forms of Support. --Antimechanized resources may be aSSigned

missions of general support, direct support, or attachment. They may
also be employed in combinations of these three types of support. Gen-
eral support and direct support are the preferred types of support in
the antimechanized operation. Attachment is resorted to only in cases
of extreme dispersion or to support independent operations.

b. Factors Influencing Employment of Resources. --The factors of

METT delineated in paragraph 3106 of this chapter are analyzed in
planning the assignment of missions to antimechanized resources. In
addition, particular attention is given to the following considerations:

(1) Duality of Function. --The dual functions of many antimech-

anized resources in initially supporting the amphibious assault and
subsequently supporting antimechanized operations may dictate an ini-
tial decentralization of control. Tanks in direct support of a regiment
in the initial assault of beach objectives may revert to a general support
role or become an element of the striking force/reserve once the ini-
tial objectives are seized. Plans provide for rapid reversion of such
units to central antimechanized control when a hostile mechanized th
threat is imminent.

FMFM 9-3

(2) Intentions of the Enemy. - - When no information of the time

and location of hostile armored elements or their intention can be ob-
tained, the antimechanized means are held under centralized control.
Consideration is given to the enemy's capability of massing his mech-

anized forces, and any assignment of tactical missions must comple-
ment a plan developed to counteract this capability.

(3) Unit Separation. --Separation between units as opposed to

concentration of forces is a crucial factor in planning the assignment
of tactical missions to antimechanized resources. The separation of
one major groupment from another is often dictated as a tactical
measure against the threat of nuclear attack or by the characteristics
of the objective area. Separation affords the enemy the opportunity
to attack any single groupment from any of several different directions.
Separation also invites the enemy to attempt an attack between units
into the rear area. Specific antimechanized precautions are necessary
to counter this threa( Generally, dispersed operations generate a
requirement for more antimechanized resources than the landing force
requires in a conventional type amphibious operation. In such instances,
it may be necessary to attach antitank and tank units to widely separated

(4) Concentration of Antimechanized Resources. --Antimechanized

plans provide for concentrating antimechanized resources to counter a
large-scale mechanized attack. Such plans are designed to concentrate
and centralize control of antimechanized units and reserve elements in
the critical area. They are executed once the enemy has revealed his
intentions as to where he will launch his tank attack. Concentration
cannot be accomplished under threat of nucelar attack to the extent that
a mass of units and means forms a lucrative nuclear target.

(5) Reinforcement of Forward Elements. --In situations involving

wide frontages, numerous routes of tank approach, or when control is
difficult, it may be necessary to assign tanks and Ontos missions in
direct support of forward elements to prevent forward units being
overrun. In such situation, time/space factors prolong the reaction
time of mobile antimechanized reserves and delay their support of
critical areas under attack. Accordingly, forward elements require
additional antimechanized resources to contain the enemy until they can
be reinforced.

(6) Defense in Depth. --Mechanized attack is characterized by

deep penetrations and wide encirclements. Antimechanized defenses,
to be effective, are organized in depth. Each echelon ensures that its


FMFM 9-3

prescribed antimechanized defensive depth has been achieved with or-

ganic weapons. The landing force provides supplementary means to
subordinate elements.

(7) Mobile (Self-Propelled) Units. --To provide for the contin-

gency that hostile armor may succeed in breaking through the battle
position, sufficient antimechanized resources are retained in mobile
(self-propelled) units. These units are capable of effective employ-
ment against armor and are held in readiness for counterattack.

(8) Time/Space Factors. --Time/space factors affecting the

employment of friendly and hostile mechanized forces are considered
in positioning and placing antimechanized resources. Open terrain
with good trafficability for the landing force~s mobile antimechanized
resources generally dictates centralized control. Terrain with poor
mechanized trafficability generally dictates antimechanized resources in
direct support of, or attached to, units in the most critical antimech-
anized areas of operation.



In the antimechanized operation the need for antimechanized

means ashore commences as soon as the initial wave of assault
troops land. Plans provide for equipping assault units with increased
allowances of light antitank assault weapons. Reserve elements equip-
ped with increased allowances of antitank assault weapons are retained
in an on call status for immediate deployment by helicopter to critical
points in the landing area. Plans also provide for landing tanks and
Ontos at the earliest practicable time. When a beach is undefended by
antitank weapons, minefields, and obstacles, they may be landed in
advance of, or with the assaulting infantry. A strongly defended beach
with extensive antitank weapons and obstacles delays their landing.

a. Landing Considerations. --Among the basic considerations in

planning given to the development of antimechanized means ashore
during the assault phase are the following:

(1) Tanks may be required ashore early in the operation to

assist the infantry with shock action and direct fire to overcome beach
fortifications in rapid seizure of objectives.

(2) Tanks and Ontos are particularly valuable weapons to

counter an early attack by hostile mechanized forces and are landed
in sufficient time to counter any hostile mechanized threat existing
in the landing area o
FMFM 9-3

(3) The maneuverability of hostile mechanized forces and the

short duration of the critical phases of their attack may dictate that
the landing force land helicopterborne antitank assault elements at
critical points without delay.

(4) The early landing of antimechanized weapons tends to reduce
casualties among the assualting infantry and is a morale factor in the
early stages of the amphibious assault.

(5) Antimechanized weapons must be landed without excessive


b. Factors Influencing the Landing of Antimechanized Resources. --

Planning the progressive build-up of antimechanized means ashore is
based upon conSideration of the following factors:

(1) Mission. --The mission of the landing force determines the

general landing area for antimechanized means and the tank-heavy
striking force/reserve. The determination of the general area for
landing is based on time and space factors involved in securing the
initial objectives ashore and the time available to organize an effective
antimechanized operation, as compared with the time and space factors
involved in the movement of enemy armor to the landing area.

(2) Scheme of Maneuver. --The scheme of maneuver is designed

to provide for rapid seizure of initial objectives and to counter the
hostile mechanized threat in the landing area. Thereafter, it is dev-
eloped to maintain the momentum of the amphibious assault while at
the same time faCilitating the adoption of effective antimechanized
defense measures at successive antimechanized phase lines as the force
moves inland. A time and place for landing tanks, Ontos, and the
reserve/striking force is selected that most satisfactorily supports the
scheme of maneuver.
(3) Shipping. --The type and number of ships and landing craft
available to transport tanks and Ontos have a major influence on the
capability of landing these units where and when they are required.
Planning factors for available ships and craft and their beaching
characteristics are presented in figure 9. For a more detailed dis-
cussion see FMFM 4-2, Embarkation; and FMFM 9-1, Tank Employ-

FMFM 9-3

(4) Landing Beach. --The beach gradient, offshore reefs or

sandbars, the navigability of the approach lanes, and the waters of the
objective area influence the choice of landing sites. A beach for land-
ing tanks and Ontos should be selected where the beach soil is trafficable
and the beach gradient is not too steep. A good beach has an ample
number of exits. It should be located so that it supports the overall
scheme of maneuver of the landing force ashore. The landing of tanks
and Ontos is delayed when:

(a) Offshore reefs bar passage of landing craft.

(b) Beach gradients do not permit dry ramp beaching.

(c) Soil trafficability is poor.

(d) It is necessary to emplace causeways.

(5) Obstacles. --Beach minefields and obstacles are normally

breached or overcome before landing antimechanized weapons. Obstacles,
offshore, and on the beach, are avoided wherever possible. Where
avoidance is impracticable, a landing site is selected where they can
be most easily breached. Plans provide for landing obstacle breach-
ing teams with the initial assault waves to ensure the early develop-
ment of landing force heavy antimechanized means ashore.

c. Reconnaissance. --Plans provide for tank and antitank recon-

naissance personnel to accompany the assualt infantry ashore to amplify
unknown aspects of hostile resistance, to note characteristics of the
terrain that can be exploited, and to ensure earliest possible landing
of antimechanized means. When such personnel cannot be landed, a
list of information required for the decisions necessary to land and
employ antimechanized units is submitted to assault units so as to
secure the needed intelligence. Reconnaissance tasks accomplished
for tank and antitank units are concerned principally with the below
listed items:

(1) Landing pOints and beach gradients.

(2) Trafficability in the beach area.

(3) Beach exits and routes of egress.

(4) Location and extent of enemy AT weapons, obstacles, and


FMFM 9-3

~~ LCU LST .... * LSD **** C-130

MEDIUM TANK 1 3 MAX 20 MAX 40 (DRy) or

9 LCM-8

HEAVY TANK 1 3 MAX 16 MAX 23 (DRy) or

3 BEADflNG 8 BEAcmNG 3 LCU or
9 LCM-ll

LIGHT TANK 1 5 MAX 23 MAX 67 (DRy) or

9 LCM-li

ONTOS 2 3 13' 50 93 (DRy) or 1

lOu 3 LCU or
9 LCM-8

... 1466 CLASS

** 1610 CLASS

Figure 9. --Beaching Characteristics and Planning Factors for Available

Ships and Craft

d. Planned Obstacle Clearing and Breaching. --Plans provide for

rapid clearance of beach and underwater mines and obstacles to per-
mit the early landing and employment of the force's antimechanized

means. Clearance of underwater obstacles seaward of the high water
mark is the responsibility of the Navy and is usually accomplished
during the preassault phase. Mines and obstacles inland of the high
water mark are cleared by the landing force. Time seldom permits
removal of all mines and obstacles.

(1) Only certain routes across the beach are cleared for passage
early in the landing. Therefore, it is often necessary to alter the
prescribed landing formation and submit to a degree of canalization in
the beach passage. Information from reconnaissance parties is relayed
immediately to commanders of LSTs and appropriate control vessels
to ensure that units can be landed as close as practicable to the cleared
lanes. The location of lanes is determined primarily from operational
requirements for the landing, beach passage, the mission, and the
scheme of maneuver of tank and antitank units ashore. The lanes
selected are located so as to ensure the accomplishment of the fol-

(a) Sufficient breadth is provided to accommodate the width

of a tank.


FMFM 9-3

(b) Sufficient lanes are provided to permit rapid egress

from the beach.

(c) Access is provided to a road net or area that is traf-

ficable so as to facilitate immediate maneuver in support of assault
troops or movement to predesignated assembly areas and blocking

(d) Lanes correspond to the planned landing pOints of the

tank and antitank units.

(e) A minimum of lateral movement is necessary after the

units have landed.

(f) Landing points leading to cleared lanes are identifiable

from seaward.

(2) Plans normally provide that personnel from tank and anti-
tank units assist in the clearance of lanes. Such personnel are inte-
grated with engineers in the formation of teams and assist in the tasks
of demolition and removal, selection, and marking of the lanes, and
the guidance of vehicles through the lanes. Plans are generally made
to provide for supporting such teams with the tank-mounted dozers for
obstacle removal as well as with gun tanks for obstacle destruction and
team protection. When landed with the breaching teams, the tanks can
serve as logistical vehicles for the team, carrying bulky items ashore.
Organization of mine and obstacle breaching teams is based on an
analysis of the situation to evolve specific tasks to be encountered.

(a) Breaching teams are organized to land with the leading

scheduled waves, often with the first wave of assault troops.

(b) Each team clears at least one vehicle lane 18 to 24

feet wide.

(c) The scope of a breaching team's missions is clearly

delineated in planning and provides for the reversion of its components
to parent control as early as possible.

e. Guiding Vehicles Ashore. --Landing conditions may require units

to cross reefs, tidal flats, or other areas covered by shallow water.
In such cases vehicles are guided around obstacles and potholes that
might cause trouble. An amphibian tractor may be employed for this
purpose. If this method is used, guide vehicles are deSignated

FMFM 9-3

sufficiently far in advance of the landing to allow for briefing and

communication planning.

(1) A crewman may dismount and act as a guide by wading

ahead of the vehicles. However, this method is slow when the water
is deep and the bottom is rough. Since guides are vulnerable to
hostile fire, this method is only satisfactory in areas cleared of snip-
ers and enemy defenders.

(2) Reconnaissance personnel may mark lanes on the beach and

approaches thereto. However, marking devices such as buoys are
easily destroyed by enemy action, landing force elements, or by
accidental sinking by naval landing craft.


FMFM 9-3



Antimechanized planning within the larger framework of the

amphibious operation culminates in the landing force commander's pre-
paration of a specific antimechanized plan(s) to counter the hostile
mechanized threat existing in the objective area. The scope and signi-
ficance of this plan(s) varies directly with the degree of projected anti-
mechanized operations. When the hostile mechanized threat is negli-
gible' plans for the tactical employment of antimechanized means and
measures may be contained in the operation plan. When the hostile
mechanized threat is significant, the antimechanized plan is published
as an annex to the operation plan. This section discusses the char-
acteristics of antimechanized plans, the steps in their development,
and their content and format. For a more detailed discussion of plan-
ning see FMFM 3-1, Command and Staff Action.


The antimechanized plan(s) encompasses both offensive and de-

fensive operations. It delineates offensive measures to destroy and/or
neutralize the hostile mechanized threat in the objective area. It also
provides for the temporary assumption of a defensive pOSition and the
execution of a mobile or area-type antimechanized defense to counter
any large-scale hostile mechanized attack.

a. Specific Nature of Operation Plan. --The tentative plan(s) is

prepared to defeat the hostile mechanized force at a predetermined
time and place after landing. To prevent the landing force from being
surprised while moving or to prevent it from remaining in a defensive
position for a prolonged period of time, it may be necessary to prepare
separate plans for defeating an enemy me chanized attack at several
different points or antimechanized phase lines within the objective area.
To be of any value the antimechanized plan(s) is prepared for a speci-
fic locality, and the landing force's scheme of maneuver places the
force in pOSition to execute the antimechanized plan at the appropriate
time and place.

b. Requirements for Simplicity and Flexibility. --Tactical plans to

defeat a hostile mechanized force are most effective when they are
simple and flexible Complex and formal antimechanized plans are

usually inflexible and do not lend themselves to rapid adjustment in

fast moving antimechanized situations. Seldom are detailed prearranged

FMFM 9-3

plans adaptable to the situations which develop. In most cases, com-

manders can react more decisively and effectively by intelligent ap-
praisal of the current situation than by readjusting a detailed plan pre-
viously issued. Adequate provision for the hostile threat or mechanized
capability in the plan being executed leads to the most effective action.


The development of the landing force antimechanized plan(s) is

based upon a detailed analysis of the factors of METT delineated in
paragraph 3106. The commander's objective is to provide for the
most effective use of his available antimechanized resources to destroy
the hostile mechanized force. Principal staff assistance available to
the commander in formulating his antimechanized plans is provided by
the antimechanized officer. He, in conjunction with the G-2, prepares
the intelligence estimate (hostile mechanized estimate) and, in conjunc-
tion with the G-3, the antimechanized estimate. This assistance may
be presented either as a document or an oral estimate.

a. Intelligence Estimate (Hostile Mechanized Estimate). --A detailed

discussion of the intelligence estimate (hostile mechanized estimate) is
contained in section IT of chapter 2. In assessing the enemy mech-
anized capability and the possible threats imposed, the antimechanized
checklist delineated in figure 10 may be used as a guide.

b. Antimechanized Estimate. --The antimechanized estimate is

prepared by the antimechanized officer under direct staff supervision

of the operations officer and in coordination with the intelligence offi-
cer, fire support coordinator, tank officer, and engineer officer. Its
form follows that of a typical staff estimate. The antimechanized
estimate develops landing force and enemy courses of action, analyzes
these opposing courses of action, compares the landing force'S own
courses of action, and recommends a decision as to the employment
of the landing force'S antimechanized resources. A sample format
for the antimechanized estimate is depicted in appendix B.



a. General. --In developing his antimechanized plan(s), the landing

force commander considers the hostile mechanized capability, its
possible influence on his miSSion, and the approximate point at which
this influence can be exerted against him. In addition, he considers
the effect of anti-air operations on the availability of ATF aircraft to

FMFM 9-3


In assessing the enemy mechanized capability and possible threats imposed, the
following checklist may be used as a guide:

1. Does terrain favor mechanized employment?

2. Does weather favor mechanized employment?

3. What is the enemy mechanized strength?

4. How are the e:lemy mechanized forces employed?

5. Where are the likely routes of approach?

6. What location will most favor enemy employment of armor?

7. Does the enemy have mechanized reserves available?

8. Where are .enemy mechanized reserves located?

9. Can the enemy logistically support mechanized operations in the area considered?

10. What are the possible enemy cour ses of action?

11. Are enemy mechanized forces vulnerable to air attack?

12. Are means available to keep enemy mechanized forces under continuous surveillance?

13. Does terrain favor antimechanized action?

14. What antimechanized means and potential do we possess?

15. How and when will these means be landed?

1t. Where will our means be employed?

17. When will we achieve our full antimechanized potential ?

18. What routes of egress are there from the beach inland?

19. Do these routes provide passive defense against enemy mechanized action?

20. What is the relative combat power of enemy armor and friendly antimechanized

21. What are your own possible courses of action?

22. What are the probable effects of enemy mechanized capabilities on each course of
action? .

23. In the light of terrain, enemy capabilities, own mission, and scheme of maneuver,
which course of antimechanized action is most desirable?

Figure 10. --Antimechanized Checklist.

FMFM 9-3

attack mechanized forces and the capability of these" aircraft to oper-

ate in a highly developed antiaircraft environment.
b. Basic Estimates. --Based upon his evaluation of the situation,
the landing force commander estimates the following:

(1) Where the landing force will probably engage the hostile
mechanized force.

(2) Where the force must stop the attack.

(3) The number of enemy tanks he is capable of destroying

with the ground element of the landing force.

(4) The antimechanized effort required by elements exterior

to the landing force such as ATF /fleet/theater air.

c. Antimechanized Courses of Action. - -The landing force commander

then determines the alternative courses of antimechanized action avail-
able to him and his expected rate of advance ashore with each alter-
native. He measures each alternative course of antimechanized
action in terms of the factors that limit the effectiveness of his avail-
able antimechanized resources and selects a course of action based
upon its overall desirability. His overall amphibious mission may
cause him to select a course of action that is not the most desirable
from an antimechanized point of view. However, if the magnitude of
the hostile mechanized threat is critical, he gives extra weight to his
analysis of the alternatives and selects a course of action which pro-
vides the highest probability of defeating the enemy's mechanized
force. The commander then prepares his plan(s) to destroy the hos-
tile mechanized force.


The antimechanized plan is prepared in five paragraph form.

Its format is depicted in appendix C. An illustrative example is de-
picted in appendix D.

a. Paragraph 1. --Paragraph 1 usually contains a reference to

paragraph 1 of the operation plan. In addition, it lists the antimech-
anized force in detail. Specifically, it details those missions perform-
ed by the advance force, fire support groups, and supporting air forces.
It also indicates the likely routes of armor approach into the area of

FMFM 9-3

b. Paragraph 2. --Paragraph 2 prescribes the overall mission.

In the event there are multiple tasks involved, the priorites are stated

c. Paragraph 3. --Paragraph 3 states the commander's concept of

the antimechanized operation and the tasks to be performed by subor-
dinate elements. Comprehensive control and coordination measures
are included. Paragraph 3 provides the following:

(1) Sectors of responsibility.

(2) Conditions of readiness.

(3) Use of mines.

(4) Identification of friendly arms.

(5) Passage of control of active antimechanized means.

d Paragraph 4. - -Paragraph 4 contains the logistic and adminis-

trative instructions related to antimechanized defense. It also indicates
road priorities for mobile antimechanized means.

e. Paragraph 5. --Paragraph 5 provides communication-electronics

instructions, location of the command post, axis of communications,
and relevant instructions pertaining to the employment of the antimech-
anized warning communication system.

f. Appendixes. --The multiplicity of detail required for a proper

antimechanized plan dictates the frequent use of appendixes to the
annex. The following are normal appendixes:

(1) Barrier plan.

(2) Antimechanized fire support plan.

(3) Antimechanized overlay.

g. Counterattack Plans. --Counterattack plans as part of the anti-

mechanized plan are referred to only in general terms. Detailed
counterattack plans are developed separately by the commander of the
striking force/reserve. For a detailed discussion of such plans see
paragraph 3606.

FMFM 9-3


When the hostile mechanized threat is Significant, it is manda-

tory that amphibious training for the landing force provide adequate
time for the testing and rehearsal of antimechanized plans. Such
training accentuates the need for flexibility in antimechanized oper-
ations and goes beyond the testing and rehearsal of anyone specific
antimechanized plan. All landing force elements should participate in
a variety of antimechanized field exercises to test the reliability of
antimechanized plans, procedures, and communications. These exer-
cises should emphasize the need for all landing force elements to be
able to develop fragmentary (overlay-type) antimechanized plans rapid-
ly in fast-moving situations; test the landing force's capabilities to
maneuver and mass the fires of its antimechanized resources; and
give all landing force elements experience in organizing and executing
an antimechanized defense to include the organization and construction
of effective barrier systems. See FMFM 3 -2, Amphibious Training,
for more detailed information.

FMFM 9-3



Successful implementation of the antimechanized warning system

provides for minimal reaction time in placing mass antimechanized
fires on hostile mechanized targets. This dictates that antimechanized
conditions of readiness, prearranged plans for passing control of anti-
mechanized resources, and standardized reporting, warning, and com-
munication procedures be established. This section discusses the
planning and execution of these procedures in the antimechanized
operation. For further details see ATP 7, Procedure for Naval
Carrier Air Support of Amphibious and Land Forces; and NWP
16(A), Basic Operational Communication DocfrIiie (U).


In order to expedite the antimechanized defense, certain con-

ditions of antimechanized readiness are normally established as stand-
ing operating procedures. Upon the setting of anyone of these con-
ditions, prearranged antimechanized plans are put into effect to counter
the hostile mechanized threat. These conditions of readiness are nor-
mally set by agencies at division or higher level. While their nature
and format vary in different operations, it is important that they be
agreed upon and disseminated to all landing force elements well in
advance of the projected operation. Normally, they are published in
the antime chanized annex to the operation plan. The following exam-
pIes represent typical antimechanized conditions of readiness:

a. Condition IV: --The hostile armored force is detected but con-

tact is not imminent.

b. Condition ill: - -The hostile armored force is approaching our

force and contact is imminent. The time and place of contact can
be predicted with reasonable accuracy.

c. Condition II: - - Friendly units are under attack by hostile armored


d. Condition I: - -The landing force is seriously endangered by the

hostile armored attack in progress.

FMFM 9-3



In order to expedite the execution of mechanized plans, pre-

arranged procedures to provide for control of the landing force anti-
mechanized resources;, i. e., tanks, Ontos, etc., are established. They
may provide for activating an antimechanized striking force and for
passing the control of antimechanized resources to lower echelons.
Normally, they are related to prescribed conditions of antimechanized
readiness and provide for automatically shifting the control of antimech-
anized resources to meet the immediate hostile mechanized threat. A
typical example of such prearranged plans is illustrated in figure 11.


Upon sighting an enemy mechanized force, the agency or indi-

vidual making the sighting transmits immediately to the senior landing
force commander by the most rapid means available, information, as to
what has been sighted--its location, distance, and speed--and the time
the sighting was made. Flash precedence is used, and contact mess-
ages are relayed immediately to the landing force headquarters. Such
messages normally are authenticated, but lack of authentication does
not delay their retransmission or relay. A typical example of an
initial contact message is depicted in figure 12.


Amplifying reports contain as much of the information specified

for contact messages as may be required by the situation which exists
at the time the amplifying message is prepared. If the responsible
commander so deSires, the full form of the contact message may be
used for the amplifying reports, but flash precedence is used if, in
the opinion of the originator, the development of the attack makes such
precedence necessary. A typical example of an amplifying report is
depicted in figure 12. j


a. General. --An antimechanized warning (tank alert) includes

both intelligence on hostile mechanized activity and instructions to
friendly units as to the actions to be taken to counter a mechanized
attack. It is in the nature of a fragmentary operation order. When
the situation warrants action, the commander issues orders as nec-
essary to counter the threat. Such an order is called an antimechanized


FMFM 9-3


CONDITION IV: The hostile armored force is detected but contact is not imminent.

a. Aircraft, naval gunfire general support ships, and artillery within range carry out
long range fire missions as requested by the landing force. Fires delivered at this
time cause the attacking force to button up and slow down their speed of movement.
Also, a part of the enemy force may be destroyed.

b. Tanks and Ontos are landed, if not already on the beach, and are alerted.

CONDITION ill: The hostile armored force is approaching our force and contact is
imminent. The time and place of attack can be predicted with reasonable

a. Aircraft and naval gunfire general support ships continue fire missions as requested
by the landing force. Artillery continues support under the landing force commander.

b. Force tanks are placed in direct support of the threatened division.

c. Division antitank battalion shifts positions in accordance with plans for antimechanized

CONDITION II: Landing force units are under attack by hostile armored forces.

a. Control of aircraft missions and naval gunfire general support ship fires are passed
to the division under attack.

b. The landing force commander may retain control of part of the general support
means in order to counter any subsequent attacks.

c. Division headquarters passes control of a suitable proportion of supporting arms to

the commander of the threatened regiment and thereby shifts control of tanks,
artillery, aircraft, and naval gunfire support ships to the echelon of command best
suited to direct the support.

CONDITION I: The landing force is seriously endangered by the hostile armored attack
in progress.

a. Available direct support means of adjacent divisions may be assigned by the landing
force commander to support the threatened division.

b. The threatened division passes control of a suitable proportion of the foregoing

supporting arms to the threatened regiment.

c. Direct support tank elements of units not threatened are withdrawn and moved to the
threatened area.

d. The regimental commander may pass control of all supporting arms and tanks to
the commander charged with executing the counterattack.

Figure 11. --Example of Prearranged Plans for Passing Control of

Antimechanized Means.


FMFM 9-3

warning (tank alert). The intelligence officer is responsible only

for those portions of the antimechanized warning (tank alert)
messages which are of an intelligence nature. To compensate
somewhat for the time lag inherent in the preparation of operation-
al instructions and to permit units to take appropriate action., the
intelligence officer disseminates intelligence regarding hostile armor
separately as an armored advisory message with high precedence
if the situation requires it.

b. Content. --Antimechanized warning messages contain the

following infor"mation:

(1) The phrase "tank alert" to indicate that the message

pertains to an imminent hostile mechanized attack.

(2) A designating letter (or other designator) to indicate the

antimechanized condition of readiness or the antimechanized defense
plan which is to be put into effect by the originator of the warning
message, if any. Antimechanized warning messages are sent with
flash precedence to all major commanders within the command of
the originator and to adjacent and next higher commanders.

(3) Voice cal1(s) of the unit(s) against which it appears

that the hostile mechanized forces will strike.

(4) Size or strength of the hostile mechanized force which

is making the attack.

(5) Location of the hostile tanks and direction of travel.

(6) Time at which it is anticipated the hostile mechanized

attack will strike.

c. Example. --A typical example of a tank alert message is

depicted in figure 12.


When the danger of hostile mechanized forces is no longer

imminent because the hostile force has withdrawn or has been
destroyed, a message is sent notifying all units which have been
alerted that the imminent threat from hostile armor has passed.

FMFM 9-3












Figure 12. --Examples of a Contact Report, Amplifying Report, Tank

Alert Message, and Tanks Clear Message.

FMFM 9-3

a. The message contains the following information: I

(1) The phrase "tanks clear."

(2) Immediate precedence (under normal circumstances).

(3) Time.

(4) Authentication.

b. Only the originator of the initial warning (tank alert)

. message pertaining to a specific hostile mechanized tank attack
transmits a "tanks clear" message. A typical example of a
"tanks clear" message is depicted in figure 12.


Communications for the antimechanized warning system are

generally provided through existing wire and radio nets established
within the landing force plus such special nets as are required
to provide direct communications with nonorganic antimechanized
means. A suitable method of warning the individual Marine may
. be established and made part of the division SOP. A standard
audible signal warning system such as three long blasts ona
whistle, horn, or siren supplemented by pointing and passage of the
alert by word of mouth is generally prescribed The communi-
cation means selected for transmission of prescribed antimechanized
warnings are standardized insofar as practicable.

a. Information obtained from contact and amplifying reports is

immediately distributed prior to evaluation if the information is
considered to be suffiCiently reliable or the attack to be imminent.
Normally, if the report indicates a safe margin of time, it is J
more desirable to process the information received from reporting
agencies and to distribute the resulting intelligence by armor
advisory messages.

b. Antimechanized warning (tank alert) messages are broadcast when

the nature and extent of the threat indicate a need for action by subordinate
commands. It incl~des action taken by the command and missions assigned
the various components of the landing force and its supporting organization.

FMFM 9-3

c. Tanks clear messages may be distributed either on a selective

or broadcast basis in accordance with the desires of the commander
and the distribution which has been made by armor advisory and anti-
mechanized warning (tank alert) messages. All antimechanized
warnings are transmitted in the clear if encryption and decryption
delay use of information.

FMFM 9-3


Fire planning in the antimechanized operation is an integral and

continuing part of antimechanized planning. The fire support annex to
the antimechanized plan provides for massed supporting fires to restrict
and/or neutralize hostile mechanized forces in the area of the landing,
and provides for defensive fires to protect the landing force from the
attack of hostile tanks. The fire support annex includes separate air,
naval gunfire, and artillery fire plans. The nuclear fire plan may be
integrated into these plans or published separately. This section dis-
cusses the objective and development of antimechanized fire support
plans. For further details see FMFM 7 -1, Fire Support Coordination;
FMFM 7 -2, Naval Gunfire Support; FMFM 7 -3, Air Support; and
FMFM 7-4, 'Field Artillery Support.


Planning for antimechanized fires is essentially a problem of
coordinating the various fire support means of the antimechanized re-
sources into a highly integrated and responsive fire support system.
The antimechanized fire support plan of the landing force integrates
the fire plans for air, naval gunfire, artillery, tanks, and other anti-
mechanized fires so as to provide the following:

a. Prearranged delineation of areas of responsibility for air, naval

gunfire, artillery, tank, and other antimechanized fires to attack
hostile mechanized forces. These areas normally correspond to or
fall within the areas aSSigned for normal support tasks and/or tactical
areas of responsibility.
b. Rapid concentration of fire on critical points considered vital
to the antimechanized operations of the landing force.

c. Rapid massing of available fires to intercept hostile mechanized

forces as their attack progresses into the battle area or beachhead.

d. Assignment of authority to appropriate troop commanders to

shift the fires of gunfire support ships from their primary assignments
to selected killing zones or target areas to impede, stop, or repel
enemy mechanized attacks.

FMFM 9-3


Air, naval gunfire, and artillery staff officers develop coordi-

nated recommendations for the antimechanized fire support plan to
complement the scheme of maneuver and anticipated antimechanized
requirements. The fire support plan includes provisions for any spe-
cial instructions on the coordination of fires, restrictive fire plans,
special antitank ammunition allowances,and the assignment of forward
air controllers, forward observers, and naval gunfire spotters to tank
units and armored communication vehicles.

a. The antimechanized requirements are included in prearranged

scheduled fire preparations in the pre-D-day bombardment plans of
the amphibious task force. These fires are directed against enemy
tanks and mechanized targets in the objective area. They may also
be directed against bridges, defiles, and road junctions to create ob-
stacles which will delay and hinder the maneuver of enemy tanks. The
locations of these target areas are generally determined by the intelli-
gence, operations, and antimechanized officers.

b. On call anti me chanized fires on targets of the type indicated

above may be planned for future attack by the most suitable supporting
weapon(s). Plans include procedures whereby these fires may be placed
on targets of opportunity with a minimum of delay. Although the plotted
concentrations indicate which arm is scheduled to fire; air, artillery,
and naval gunfire agencies are prepared to attack all concentrations
within their individual capabilities. Every battalion computes firing
data for concentrations that its guns are able to bear on. Concentra-
tions may be arranged in groups or series to facilitate their location
and designation. The on call fires may include provisions to fire des-
ignated concentrations or groups of concentrations by time-on-target
(TOT) methods or as programs of fires. Those concentrations which
lie beyond the range of artillery and naval gunfire are normally covered
by aircraft. Both close and deep supporting fires are planned The
naval gunfire support plans related to antimechanized fires clearly set
forth and define the conditions under which special authority is dele-
gated to appropriate troop commanders to shift naval gunfire support
ships from their primary support assignments for the purpose of attack-
ing enemy tanks. Continuous fire planning is necessary to maintain an
effective antimechanized fire support plan.

c. The fire support coordinator, advised and assisted by the sup-

porting arms representatives in the FSCC, the antimechanized officer,
and target information personnel, is responsible for planning and

FMFM 9-3

coordinating the fires of artillery, naval gunfire, and air in support

of antimechanized operations.

d. When completed, the antimechanized fire support plan may be

incorporated as an overlay appendix to the antimechanized annex with
appropriate positions reflected in individual fire plans or as an appendix
to the landing force fire support plan. The completed antimechanized
annex always indicates the antimechanized tactical missions and respon-
sibilities assigned each supporting arm as well as those of other tacti-
cal, combat support, and service support elements comprising the anti-
mechanized resources.


The fire support plan is coordinated and integrated to provide

for the employment of all fires, nuclear and nonnuclear, organic and
supporting, available to the commander at each echelon. Components
of the fire support plan include detailed plans for the fires of antitank
weapons, tanks, and all available fire support agenCies. Planning for
the employment of fires is continuous and is as detailed as the situa-
tion and the time available permit. Each landing force element develops
plans for the employment of its organic antitank weapons. It also
makes plans for supporting fires, and the request for these supporting
fires is included in the unit fire support plan which is submitted to the
next higher headquarters. Subordinate fire support plans are incorpor-
ated in the next higher echelon's fire support plan. Fires are inte-
grated in the overall antimechanized plan of defense with special em-
phaSis on. the support of counterattacks and the application of fire and
maneuver by all echelons. Planned fires for the antimechanized defense
are classified as long range, close defenSive, final protective, and
fires within the battle area.

a. Long Range Fires. --Long range fires of air, naval gunfire, and
artillery are planned to engage the enemy as early as possible to knock
out tanks, to delay his advance, and to disrupt his organization and force
him to use up fuel and ammunition. The employment of long range fires
is carefully planned.

(1) Long range fires may initially be employed in support of

the security forces.

(2) As the enemy advances, the direct fires of the covering

force engage the hostile armor. Forward air controllers, naval gun-
fire spotters, and artillery observers adjust long range fire on enemy
mechanized forces as soon as they are observed.
FMFM 9-3

(3) As the enemy's mechanized forces continue their advance

and come within the range of additional weapons, they are brought
under an increasingly heavy volume of fire.

(4) Long range fires are also directed against killing zones,
contained enemy forces, and to support a counterattack.

b. Close Defensive Fires. --Close defensive fires are planned to

disorganize the attacking mechanized force before the enemy can assault
a pOSition by knocking out the greatest possible number of tanks; by
disrupting command, control, and communications; by denying obser-
vation; and by neutralizing his supporting fires. Close supporting fires
are massed on a designated killing line or in killing zones and in
support of any subsequent counterattacks that are made immediately
in front of the strongpoints, in the forward defense pOSitions, or with-
in the battle area.

c. Final Protective Fires. --Final protective fires are designed to

break up the hostile mechanized attack. Such fires normally consist
of organic antitank weapons engaging hostile mechanized forces with
massed surprise fires along principal avenues of approach. Organic
infantry weapons fire final protective fires, and artillery, naval gun-
fire, and mortar barrages are delivered as planned. Tanks and Ontos
within the position engage mechanized targets of opportunity with a
volume of surprise fires. All available supporting arms fires are
brought to bear on hostile forces.

d. Fires Within the Battle Area. --Fires within the battle (forward
defense) area are planned to cover designated killing zones so as to
contain, limit, and destroy all possible penetrations of the defensive
areas. Fires are planned to seal off the penetrating mechanized force
so that it is cut off from its supporting infantry, combat support, and
service elements and cannot be reinforced. Plans are made for fires
of adjacent units to support the penetrated units by firing on the flanks
and rear of the penetrating force. Fires within the position are planned
to support the counterattack plans. In addition, fires are planned to
cover the intervals between blocking positions.

e. Air Support. --Air support remains a vital factor throughout the

conduct of antimechanized operations. It is integrated into the overall
fire support plan. Deck alert, ground alert, and/or air alert aircraft
are used to engage mechanized targets of opportunity with nuclear and
nonnuclear fires as far out from the landing force positions as possible.

FMFM 9-3

Preplanned on call missions for aircraft with antitank ordnance are

planned on locations where enemy mechanized concentrations are likely
to occur during the conduct of his attack. Preplanned missions are
requested to cover the maneuver of the striking force and to support

counterattack plans. These preplanned missions strike to destroy
hostile tank(s) , seal off enemy forces that have penetrated the defense,
and prevent the enemy from reinforcing these forces.

FMFM 9-3



The successful conduct of an antimechanized operation may be

influenced to a large degree by the landing force capability to utilize
natural and artificial obstacles to its advantase. The extent to which
the landing force may plan, construct, and employ barriers and/or
barrier systems varies at successive stages of the amphibious oper-
ation and is often dictated by the tactical situation and the mission of
the force. In the early stages of the amphibious assault barrier oper-
ations are, of necessity, restricted. They are generally limited to
mining and demolition operations designed to supplement and improve
natural cover and obstacles provided by existing terrain and are not
carried out unless there is imminent danger of a large -scale enemy
tank attack. Normally, barrier planning in the amphibious operation
is directed towards the defense of the force beachhead line (FBHL)
where extensive minefields and antitank obstacles may be constructed.
More extensive barrier systems are seldom planned unless the landing
force is compelled to assume the defense for a long period of time.
In such cases the landing force requires additional engineer and con-
struction support since it has a limited capability for constructing
large-scale defensive barriers. This section discusses the employ-
ment, planning, and construction of barriers normally within the cap-
abilities of a landing force in an antimechanized operation. For a more
detailed discussion of barriers and barrier planning see FM 31-10,
Barrier and Denial Operations; FM 5-15, Field Fortifications; and
FM 5-34, Engineer Field Data.


Barriers may be employed in the antimechanized operations to

accomplish the following:

a. Contribute to flank security of the landing force.

b. Impede a hostile mechanized counterattack.

c. Provide additional protection for a section of the beach area which

is not strongly manned.

d. Assist in trapping the enemy.

e. Delay initial hostile mechanized advance toward the front or


FMFM 9-3

f. Delay and/or limit hostile mechanized movements of penetration

or envelopment.

g. Canalize the enemy's mechanized forces into killing zones where

they can be defeated or destroyed.

h. Separate the enemy's armor from its supporting infantry and

combat support and service elements.

i. Achieve economy of force.


Natural obstacles are used whenever feasible in an antimechanized

operation. They considerably strengthen and reinforce the defense for
all elements of the landing force. In addition, natural obstacles may
be augmented by artificial obstacles of all types within the scope and
area of the commander's authority and capability. In extreme cases,
where the landing force is required to develop an extensive barrier
system, such operations are directed by the landing force or division.


The formulation of barrier plans and the employment of barriers

in antimechanized operations are command responsibilities. Specific
staff responsibilities are as follows:

a. Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3. --The G-3 has general staff re-
sponsibility for the tactical employment of barriers and their integra-
tion with the scheme of maneuver and the fire support plan.

b. Assistant Chief of Staff, G-2. --The G-2 provides information

concerning the terrain, weather, enemy situation, and r.apabilities. He
establishes counterintelligence and security procedures applicable to
barrier plans.
c. Assistant Chief of Staff, G-4. --The G-4 coordinates the logistics
of barrier employment to include priorities and allocation of equipment,
supplies, labor, and transportation.

d. Assistant Chief of Staff, G-l. --The G-l procures the necessary

working force.

FMFM 9-3

e. Engineer. --The engineer has primary special staff responsibility

for barrier planning. He prepares terrain and barrier studies for the
G-2. He advises the G-3 of the means whereby and the extent to
which artificial obstacles may be used to augment natural obstacles.
He plans and supervises the technical aspects of barrier employment
and furnishes assistance to the G-3 by preparing the barrier plan annex
under the direction of the G-3. He recommends assignment of tasks to
engineer units.

f. NBC Officer. --The NBC officer plans and recommends to the

G-3 the most effective employment of toxic chemical agents, smoke,
flame, and incendiaries. Toxic chemical agents are used as either
chemical barriers or as a means to increase the effectiveness of other
barriers by contamination.


a. General. --The employment of barriers is integrated with

the overall landing force scheme of maneuver and fire support plan.
Prior to preparing barrier plans the following factors are among those

(1) Mission of the command.

(2) Avenues of approach for mechanized forces.

(3) Natural obstacles.

(4) Weather.

(5) Composition and disposition of both enemy and friendly


(6) Enemy capabilities.

(7) Enemy limitations.

(8) Limitations imposed by higher headquarters.

(9) Safe lanes and gaps that must be provided for maneuver of
friendly forces.

(10) Time, materials, labor, and equipment available as op-

posed to results to be obtained from the construction of barriers.

FMFM 9-3

b. Location of Barriers. --Barriers are located to take maximum

advantage of natural obstacles and should impede hostile mechanized
movement along favorable avenues of approach, divert or canalize
enemy mechanized movement to routes of the commander's own chOOSing,
or compel the enemy's mechanized forces to concentrate or disperse.
Limited tactical capabilities may preclude coverage of an entire barrier
by fire. In this case provision is made for constant observation to
permit rapid shifting of mobile forces or fire support. Among other
considerations for effective location of barriers are the following:

(1) Obstacles are placed preferably under friendly observation.

Whenever possible, they should be defiladed from enemy observation.

(2) Obstacles placed in depth and in killing areas located within

the battle area retain the element of surprise and block the enemy's
mechanized forces at a critical phase of their attack.

(3) Obstacles are most effective when covered by AT fire.

(4) Coordinating the fire support plan an:d the barrier plan
increases the effectiveness of both. The fire support plan should
provide fire to cover obstacles without damaging or impairing the effec-
tiveness of the obstacles.

(5) Under conditions of nuclear warfare, barrier systems are

so organized as to force the enemy's mechanized elements to concen-
trate and present a remunerative target for nuclear weapons. Care
is taken so that the landing force barriers do not impair the ability
of the landing force to disperse in the event of nuclear attack.

c. Depth of Barriers. --Any obstacle may eventually be surmounted.

Nonetheless, a series of coordinated obstacles located in depth consti-
tutes a formidable barrier. Such barriers should be constructed in
cellular arrangements rather than along a straight line. (See fig. 13.)
Successive barriers in a cellular pattern form a far more effective J
barrier system than one linear barrier. They slow enemy penetration,
provide time for counterattaCking forces to meet the mechanized threat,
and force the enemy to expend strength and time at each barrier. Ef-
fective barrier systems may compel the enemy to concentrate in force,
thus offering a lucrative target for massed artillery or nuclear weapons.
Route mining and demolitions in depth compel the enemy to deploy re-
peatedly. They slow his advance by forcing him to adopt less favor-
able approaches for his mechanized units or to accept high casualty
rates. In some cases it may be desirable that a barrier be as

FMFM 9-3

f ,x


Figure 13. --Barrier Construction.

difficult to bypass as it is to breach. However, when a barrier is

used to canalize hostile mechanized forces, the intent is just the oppo-
site. The barrier is built to force the enemy to bypass it, and is de-
signed to canalize the hostile tanks into a killing zone where they can
be destroyed by massed antimechanized fires or a counterattack.

d. Labor Requirements. --The tremendous requirements for labor

in barrier construction demand maximum utilization of indigenous labor
to supplement troop effort. Security, availability of laborers, the
nature of construction tasks, and time available influence the utilization
of indigenous labor.


Instructions for the planning and employment of barriers are

normally issued as an annex (barrier plan) to the antimechanized
plan (or order). In a fast moving antimechanized operation the
division barrier plan is normally issued in overlay form. A typical
example of such a plan is depicted in appendix E. At landing force
or higher headquarters a letter of instruction may be used. It is the
responsibility of the higher headquarters to determine restrictions

FMFM 9-3

on types of obstacles, restrictions on employment of barriers, and

gaps to be left as dictated by plans for future operations. Commanders
at all levels are expected to make the fullest possible use of barriers
unless restricted by specific orders of higher headquarters. Barrier
instructions include the following:

a. Applicable portions of plans of higher headquarters, including

pertinent portions of denial operations.

b. The designation of barrier systems vital to the landing force.

c. ASSignment of priorities for tasks performed by subordinate


d. The location of minefields of major tactical importance, with

gaps and lanes, and the location, extent, and type of contamination,
if any.

e. Schedule of preparation and extent of demolitions, with

the execution clearly stated. Routes to be kept open are

f. Allocation of engineer support, labor (both troop and indigenous),

materials, equipment, and transportation.

g. Limitations on the employment of certain types of obstacles

(such as minefields or chemicals), if any.

h. Instructions relative to the security of the plan and its execu-


i. Reporting instructions.

j. When appropriate, detailed plans are prepared for normal demo-

litions' nuclear demolition munitions, chemical contamination, and
minefield locations.

k. Pertinent barrier instructions below the division level are issued

as fragmentary orders, overlays, or sketches.


a. General Responsibility. --The construction of obstacles for

close-in defense is the responsibility of the tactical unit commander.

FMFM 9-3

Generally, each tactical unit is responsible for the construction of ~hat

part of a barrier which lies within its area. Normally, engineer
assistance in the form of effort, advice, and technical supervision is
furnished when needed, when available, or when so directed.

b. Engineer Responsibility. --Engineers are assigned responsibility

for the siting and construction of obstacles which require or accomplish
the following:

(1) Require special skill and equipment.

(2) Protect exposed flanks or rear.

(3) Benefit the command as a whole.

(4) Must be prepared before the arrival of troops who are to

occupy the position.

(5) Lie outside the area of responsibility of any particularly

subordinate unit.

c. Priorities. --First priority normally is aSSigned to barriers

designed to block mechanized avenues of approach along the front of
the battle position and those which protect the flanks, especially an
exposed or threatened flank where mechanized trafficability is good.
The improvement of natural obstacles and the construction of posi-
tions to cover barriers by fire are normally the most economical in
terms of time, materials, and manpower, and the most rewarding in
results. Artificial obstacles are constructed in priority based on the
extent to which they contribute to the defense in terms of the time,
materials, and effort required.

d. ASSignment of Tasks. --The assignment of tasks for the construc-

tion of barriers can be made by use of area, task, or combination

(1) An area assignment gives a unit responsibility for all ob-

stacles in a given area.

(2) A task assignment assigns a unit to a given obstacle.

(3) A combination area and task assignment gives a unit an

area assignment in another area.

FMFM 9-3



The basic concept of the antimechanized operation provides for

the mass offensive employment of antimechanized resources to kill the
enemy's tanks and destroy his mechanized forces as far forward of the
landing force's positions as possible. Ideally, these offensive
operations would prevent any enemy tanks from directly engaging
the landing force. Realistically, such results will rarely, if ever,
be achieved on the battlefield, and the landing force must be pre-
pared to execute defensive-type antimechanized operations to with-
stand, counter, and defeat the assault of hostile tanks. This section
discusses defensive echelons in the antimechanized operation, the
types of antimechanized defense; i. e., mobile and area, and the
organization of the defense. For a more detailed discussion of
defensive operations, see LFM 02, Doctrine for Landing Forces;
FMFM 6-1, Marine Division; FMFM 6-2, Marine Infantry Regiment;
and FMFM 6-3, Marine Infantry Battalion.


Defensive echelons in the antimechanized defense include the

security areas, the forward defense area, and the striking force/re-
serve area. (See fig. 14.) Each of these areas is allocated forces
and fires as part of the overall antimechanized defense plan.

a. Security Area. --The security area begins at the forward edge
of the battle area and extends to whatever distance to the front and
flanks that security elements are employed. In addition, it includes
any area to the rear of the force in which security forces are oper-

b. Forward Defense Area. --The forward defense area extends

rearward from the forward edge of the battle area to include the area
organized by the forward committed units. The composition of the force
in the forward defense area depends on the nature of the enemy's
mechanized forces and the form of defense employed against the attack-

c. Striking Force/Reserve Area. --The striking force/reserve area

consists of those uncommitted forces held under force or division con-
trol. It is the principal means by which the commander influences the
antimechanized action and regains the initiative against an armored

FMFM 9-3

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~)( :','::':' ::.:::::: =...... ::::

,'.."I' " ." .. - ... :",
... : .' .......: ..........
_:." '.:.:~. :::'~', I.' ,', __ .............. ::~'::~':':'::::'
I,:.: I, I, I:.: :.: :.', .:.:::~
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~- .
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ECHELON . '.::. ':: : I,::. ':', I,:.:.
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:.::. ',_:_. I:.:': .:: :,' :......... :: I:: .:.:;,... ::
'.... . .." ~. . .......-;:: ',-




Figure 14. --Defensive Echelons (Schematic).

attacker. The combat power of the reserve may consist of nuclear

weapons, conventional firepower, and maneuver elements.


The primary purpose of the antimechanized effort in the mobile

defense is the destruction of the hostile mechanized force. It empha-
sizes maximum mobile com bat power in preference to fixed defensive
positions. In this type defense, minimum necessary forces occupy
forward positions to canalize attacking mechanized forces into planned
killing zones, while the bulk of the defending force is held in reserve
as a striking force. (See fig. 15.) The objective of the mobile de-
fense is to destroy enemy tanks by a combination of defensive and
offensive actions. Principal reliance is placed on mobility and the
capability of executing bold and vigorous action. The success of mobile
defense depends upon commanders retaining freedom of action to com-
mit a tank-heavy striking force at the time and place of their choosing.

I 99
FMFM 9-3


~ .~

FEBA r-.......
'----II -----'



Counterattack action
is taken by fire and
uncommitted units

Figure 15. --The Mobile Defense.

a. Forward Defense Area. - -The forward defense area is that

portion of the defensive sector forward of the striking force area.

(1) Limits. --The forward edge of the forward defense area

is determined by the line of contact and by coordinating pOints
between divisions as established by the landing force commander.
Its rearward limit is based on considerations of the area required.
by forward defense forces to accomplish their mission and on
provisions for security against enemy infiltration, reconnaisance,
and surveillance of the landing force defensive sector.

100 I
FMFM 9-3




Figure 16. --Strongpoints in the Mobile Defense (Schematic).

FMFM 9-3

(2) Organization. --The forward defense area may consist of

strongpoints and/or observation posts. Strongpoints mayor may not
be mutally supporting and may vary in size from a squad to a battal-
ion. (See fig. 16.) They should not be of such size or so concentra-
ted as to present the enemy a profitable nuclear target. They are
organized to enable observation of all probable mechanized approaches
to warn of impending attack, to delay, to disorganize, to inflict maxi-
mum damage, to canalize the enemy into less favorable terrain, and
to block or impede the advance of enemy tanks along principal avenues
of approach. Landing force elements manning strongpoints are assigned
missions to hold important tactical localities and are prepared to:

(a) Conduct an all-round defense.

(b) Conduct limited offensive actions that assist in canal-

izing the hostile tanks into the killing zone.

(c) Occupy blocking pOSitions to prevent the widening of the

penetration at its base.

(d) Warn the landing force of the attack of hostile tanks.

(3) Employment of Elements. --Within the overall plan for a

mobile defense, elements of the forward defense forces employ some
variation of the area defense in order to hold terrain essential to the
establishment of a killing zone. Other landing force elements, when
directed and in keeping with the defense plan, conduct tactical oper-
ations by moving forward laterally or withdrawing to previously selected
and prepared positions to form the perimeter of the killing zone. The
conduct of operations by units holding terrain and units effecting tacti-
cal movements is supported adequately by supporting arms. They em-
ploy deception measures and offensive action designed to canalize the
enemy into the killing zone.

b. Killing Zone. --A killing zone is an area within the forward de-
fense area into which the commander plans to canalize the enemy mech-
anized force for destruction by a counterattack in strength. The selec-
tion of the killing zone(s) is based on assumed enemy penetrations(s)
along likely avenue{s) of approach that are trafficable to hostile armor
within the defensive sector. The following factors are considered in
the deSignation of killing 'zones:

(1) Avenues of approach for mechanized forces.

FMFM 9-3

(2) Obstacles, both natural and artificial, which will assist in

pocketing the hostile mechanized force.

(3) Terrain within the killing zone of sufficient size to permit

employment of all supporting fires including nuclear weapons.

(4) Adequate mobility and covered routes for use by the strik-
ing force in executing the counterattack.

(5) Helicopter landing zones within or on the periphery of the

killing zone.

(6) Time-space factors for moving striking force and antimech-

anized elements into positions.

c. Striking Force. --The striking force is a large and highly mobile

mechanized force having mobile infantry and tank units as a base. The
means for ensuring mobility should be immediately available to the
striking force commander. Provisions are made for highly integrated
and strong artillery and air support for the striking force during counter-
attack of the enemy penetration. The striking force is highly flexible
and, in order to be responsive to changing situations, prepares counter-
attack plans to meet several contingencies. Success of the mobile de-
fensive is enhanced by thorough reconnaissance and rehearsals invol-
ving, at a minimum, the key personnel of the striking force. For a
more detailed descussion of the striking force and its operations see
paragraphs 3901 through 3906.

(1) Preparation of the Counterattack. --The striking force may

launch its counterattack beyond the forward defense area, within the
forward defense area, or to the rear of the forward defensive area.
The point of impact is normally made at the base or shoulder of the
hostile mechanized penetration to take advantage of an assailable flank
of the penetration. This prevents enemy forces from exploiting the
penetration and permits the destruction of enemy tanks within the kill-
ing zone. (See fig. 17.) Speed of execution is essential in order to
permit the immediate withdrawal of the striking force for possible
commitment in other areas. When employment of nuclear weapons is
authorized, the point of impact is generally placed at the apex of the
penetration for greater destruction of the enemy and to permit greater
exploitation of the effects of nuclear weapons.

FMFM 9-3

Figure 17. --The Counterattack.

(2) Command and Control - - Unity of command is essential to

the accomplishment of a mobile defense. When the striking force is
committed, its command must have the facilities, freedom of action,
and the requisite authority to make and implement decisions immedi-
ately. The striking force is prepared for immediate response to accom-
plish the striking force mission. For this reason the striking force
normally will not be assigned other missions while uncommitted. This
does not preclude elements of the striking force being employed
in limited offensive action. However, such employment should not be
permitted to result in critically weakening the combat power of the
striking force.

FMFM 9-3


Antimechanized operations generally rely on an. area type defense

in the early stages of the amphibious assault when adequate mechanized
forces are not available for a striking force and sufficient terrain is
not available for a mobile defense. It may also be employed when the
terrain is such that hostile mechanized forces are restricted to a sin-
gle avenue of approach that facilitates the emplacement of antimech-
anized defenses in depth. Emphasis is placed on retaining control
over specific terrain and reliance is placed on antimechanized forces
deployed in position and in great depth with planned supporting fires
designed to stop and destroy hostile tanks at a designated kill line.
Sufficient forces are disposed in the forward area to dominate the terrain
being defended. (See fig. 18.) It may not be possible or advisable to
physically occupy all key terrain in the defended area; however, suf-
ficient combat power must be made available to ensure domination of the
area. A reserve is employed to block and destroy hostile tanks, to
eliminate mechanized penetrations if they occur, or to reinforce threat-
ened elements of the landing force. Therefore, as contrasted with the
mobile defense, the forward defense area normally is occupied by the
bulk of the landing force's tactical elements with a limited but adequate
reserve as compared to the assignment of the bulk of the forces to
the striking force/reserve in the mobile defense.

a. Decision. --The Marine division commander's decision to organize

and conduct an area defense is made when it is specified by the land-
ing force headquarters or when the mission of the division requires the
retention of specifiC terrain.

b. Organization. --The area defense is organized basically to

provide security, to prevent surprise, to stop and repel an enemy
attack, and to destroy or eject a penetration of the defended area.
Therefore, the commander provides for defensive echelons to include
security forces, forward defense forces to occupy and organize the
forward defense area, and a reserve force.

c. FEBA. --The forward edge of the battle area (FEBA) normally

is controlled by higher headquarters through establishment of coordin-
ating points. Coordinating points for the covering force or general out-
post line (GOPL) are also deSignated to ensure coordination with

FMFM 9-3

s ~RECON tt::-_ _ _-#


l -- ,......
'11-./ FORWARD


III -_-L-__ III ----t.-'-~~--



Figure 18. --The Area Defense (Schematic).

adjacent units. Based on the mission of the landing force and a de-
tailed reconnaissance to determine avenues of approach and key terrain,
the commander:

(1) Designates defensive areas.

(2) Establishes boundaries and coordinating points for major

sutiodinate units.

FMFM 9-3

(3) Designates the location of the reserve.

d. Covering Force/GOP. --The landing force uses a covering force

or general outpost (GOP), as appropriate. The covering force or GOP
is initially positioned to take advantage of natural obstacles that deny
ground to the enemy. It is accompanied by artillery capable of en-
gaging approaching enemy elements and is deSigned to mislead the
enemy as to the true location of the defense area.

e. Combat Outpost. --The combat outpost is a security element of

the infantry regiment in the forward defense area. It is located to
provide timely warning of enemy approach, to deny the enemy close
ground observation, and to limit direct fires into the forward defense
area. The division commander prescribes the general location of com-
bat outposts to the extent necessary to ensure the provision for security
of his overall force.
f. Forward Defense Area. --The forward defense area is organized
into a series of defensive position areas which provide good observa-
tion and natural terrain barriers which enhance defensive strength.
Positions are selected and prepared to block avenues of approach at
the FEBA and in depth to ensure control of the battle area. The bulk
of the landing force's combat power is committed to defending the for-
ward defense area. The natural defensive characteristics of the ter-
rain are increased as time permits by the use of artificial obstacles,
mines, fortifications, and barriers.


Selection of the type defense to be used when antimechanized
operations are contemplated' depends on the mission of the landing force;
the size of beachhead; composition, relative strength, and combat power
of the landing force and the hostile mechanized forces; the nature of
the terrain and weather; the relative air situation; and the dispoSition
and planned employment of all friendly forces. In some situations the
actual antimechanized measures adopted by the landing force will not
always be entirely a mobile or entirely an area defense but are likely
to produce a variation or combination of the two types of defense dic-
tated by requirements and the means available. (See fig. 19.) The
typical mobile defense generally requires a concentration of armor and
mobility beyond the organic capabilities of the Marine division. None-
theless, the diviSion, with appropriate Fleet Marine Force augmentation,
can plan and execute a modified form of the mobile defense. This

FMFM 9-3

~B~n~n" n~n"



Figure 19. --Defensive Variations.

augmentation is a prerequisite in the antimechanized operation in order

to provide adequate antimechanized resources and the maneuver capa-
bility required to destroy a mechanized enemy force.

a. Factors Influencing the Selection of the Mobile Defense. --The

mobile defense is generally the preferred defense for employment
against hostile mechanized forces. The employment of the mobile de-
fense is generally dependent on the landing force's seizure of adequate
terrain to conduct contemplated antimechanized operations ashore. Its
adoption is considered when:

(1) The landing force mission and the size and characteristics of
of the area of operations permit the defense to be organized and fought
in sufficient depth.

(2) There are numerous possible enemy avenues of approacb

into the objective area, and the overall trafficability for hostile armor
is good or excellent.

(3) There are insufficient antimechanized means to cover all

possible avenues of approach on the ground in sufficient depth to block
the attack of hostile mechanized forces at all possible points.

FMFM 9-3

(4) Terrain permits relatively free movement by landing force

mechanized and antimechanized means.

(5) The mobility of the landing force and, in particular, a task

organized striking force compares favorably with that of the enemy.

(6) The enemy has the capability of employing nuclear weapons,

and the landing force is required to effect maximum dispersion and
mobility to decrease its vulnerability to nuclear attack.

(7) The air situation permits relatively free movement of ele-

ments of the landing force.

(8) Minimum time is available for deployment of forces and

organization of the ground and defensive positions.

b. Factors Influencing the Selection of the Area Defense. --The area

defense may be employed by the landing force as an emergency me as -
ure to counter a mass tank attack in the early stages of the amphi-
bious assault or to defend a force beachhead line or area inland when
employment of this type defense best fits the overall scheme of plan-
ned antimechanized operations. It is generally dictated by the avail-
ability of antimechanized means, size of the beachhead, the terrain,
and the situation. The area defense is part icularly suited to opera-
ations against a mechanized opponent when the characteristics of the
area limit the hostile mechanized force to a single avenue of approach.
Normally, the adoption of the area defense is considered when: '

(1) The avenues of approach for hostile mechanized forces into

the landing force's positions are limited, and the disposition of su ch
avenues of approach facilitates a well organized defense in depth.

(2) Specific terrain features; i. e., landing area or force beach-

head, must be held rather than to permit penetration into the battle
area as in the mobile defense.

(3) The terrain complex to the rear of the FEBA restricts the
ability of a striking force to maneuver freely, restricts rapid penetra-
tion by enemy mechanized forces, and permits defense of the FEBA.

(4) The enemy possesses local air superiority which would

hinder the maneuver of a striking force.

FMFM 9-3

(5) The enemy possesses no nuclear capability, or the terrain

is such that the protection afforded reduces dispersion.

(6) The mobility of the landing force is markedly inferior to

that of the enemy, and a striking force in the mobile defense could
not be sufficiently augmented to ensure success.

(7) Adequate time and resources are available for deployment

of sufficient forces and antimechanized resources, effective organiza-
tion of the ground, and construction of a large -scale barrier system.


The counterattack is a basic and essential part of planning in

the antimechanized defense. Counterattack planning is begun early and
developed. concurrently. It is an integral part of other defensive plan-
ning, The conduct of the counterattack varies with the form of defense
adopted; however, planning techniques in both the mobile and area de-
fenses are essentially the same.

a. Counterattack plans are prepared, as a mlnlmum, to counter

assumed major hostile mechanized penetrations along each principal
avenue of approach into the battle area. The priority for the prepar-
ation of these plans is based on the threat presented by each penetra-
tion and the effect it may have on the landing force mission.

b. Basic counterattack plans are prepared by division and dissemin-

ated to lower echelons in sufficient time to permit detailed plannning
by subordinate commanders. Detailed counterattack planning is the
responsibility of the striking force/reserve commander to include re-
connaissance, selection of routes, determination of time and space
factors, and coordination with elements of the forward defense forces.

c. The counterattack plan normally includes:

(1) Assumptions. --The assumed enemy mechanized penetration,

the strength of the enemy in the penetration, location and strength of
the hostile mechanized reserve, and other necessary assumptions.

(2) Control Measures. --Control measures normally employed

in counterattack are depicted in figures 20 and 21.

(a) Line of Departure (LD). --For planning purposes the

line of departure (LD) may be used when it will contribute to the

FMFM 9-3



x x

Figure 20. --Control Measures in the Counterattack (Mobile Defense).

FMFM 9-3







x x
)( X
- - - - -Ill - - - - - - - --J-----"~-\II-----f

12] (-) rs:zJ

"-----------x X ------------'

Figure 21. --Control Measures in the Counterattack (Area Defense).

success of the counterattack. However, a counterattack is generally

planned to be made from an assembly area and is directed against the
flank of the enemy contained in a killing zone/containing area by ele-
ments of the landing force in predesignated blocking positions. The
LD is usually along a recognizable terrain feature adjacent to the pre-
designated killing zone and close to a flank of the assumed penetration.

(b) Objective. --The objective is the hostile mechanized

force and its combat and combat service support elements.

(c) Direction of Attack/Axis of Advance. --When required, a

direction of attack or axis of advance is shown from the line of depar-
ture into the designated killing zone or containing area to indicate the
direction in which the striking force/reserves is to attack.
FMFM 9-3

(d) Boundaries. --Boundaries may be used in the counter-

attack when additional control is needed. Such boundaries assist in
controlling the passage and maneuver of the striking force/reserve and
in controlling fires during the counterattack. Combat support units
within the boundaries of the counterattack force are often given tactical
missions of direct support of the striking force/reserve as they pass
through or, when required, may be attached to the counterattack force.

(3) Organization for Combat. --The striking force/reserve is

task organized for each specific mission.

(4) Orders to Major Subordinate Units. --Missions and task

assignments reflect each unit's responsibility.

(5) Fire Support. --Detailed fire support plans are prepared for
each counterattack plan. Nuclear fires are planned for probable routes
of hostile mechanized approach in front of and within the battle area.
The number of nuclear weapons available to support each counterattack
is normally specified in the plan.

d The success of the counterattack against a hostile mechanized

force depends upon the ability of the commander and staff to visualize
all probable antimechanized situations that may exist and, if a hostile
mechanized attack occurs, to select a suitable course of action to de-
feat it. Basic counterattack plans are highly flexible so that they can
be modified to meet the demands of the actual antimechanized situation.
The counterattack will normally be a variation of one of the counter-
attack plans. Particular attention is given to the possibility of multi-
ple hostile mechanized penetrations. Each plan includes preparatory
instructions to the counterattacking force and other landing force ele-
ments in the event of minor penetrations occurring simultaneously with
a major penetration.

e. Plans for the striking force/reserve should include spoiling

attacks to impair or delay enemy attacks. The spoiling attack, nor-
mally forward of the FEBA, is launched against hostile mechanized
forces which are forming for or assembling for an attack. Nuclear
weapons, including the used of radioactive fallout, are particularly
valuable in the execution of a spoiling attack against a hostile mech-
anized force.

FMFM 9-3



\hen defensive antimechanized operations are to be undertaken,

the integration, coordination, protection of the landing force's antitank
weapons, and the fire and maneuver plan of the tank-heavy striking
force/reserve take precedence over all other activity. The objective
is to provide mass surprise antitank fires from well-covered positions
to contain and seriously damage the attacking hostile mechanized forces
at a killing line or to canalize them into predeSignated killing zones.
Communication systems, with emphasiS on warning of the enemy's
approach, will be installed concurrently with other tasks. The normal
priority of work provides for preparation of:

a. Well-covered (hull defilade) primary pOSitions for the landing

force'S antitank weapons with routes into and out of each.

b. Individual positions.

c. Alternate and supplementary positions for antitank weapons.

d. Barriers, obstacles, and mines to block principal avenues of


e. Counterattack routes.

fa Successive positions in depth throughout the battle area for the

landing force's antitank weapons.

g. Defensive positions in deSignated killing zones.

h. Covered (hull defilade) firing positions for tanks and AT wea-

pons killing zones.

i. Obstacles and barriers in predesignated killing zones.

j. Dummy pOSitions.


As soon as possible after the landing force assumes a defensive

posture, defensive positions for antimechanized operations are occupied
by designated landing force elements. Positions occupied inc1ude those
selected to provide direct antimechanized fires on a killing line,

FMFM 9-3

blocking positions selected to canalize enemy armor into a killing

zone, and those selected within killing zones to contain and destroy
enemy armor. Fields of fire are cleared, tanks and heavy antitank
weapons are placed in hull defilade, and emplacements are dug for
crew -served weapons. Foxhole and slit trenches are dug for all other
personnel. Range cards are prepared for all weapons. All vehicles,
weapons, and emplacements are camouflaged Every effort is made to
deceive the enemy as to the type and location of the defensive pOSitions.
When landing force elements have been assigned defense areas, imme-
diate action is taken to camouflage antimechanized means against air
and ground observation. Movement of individuals and vehicles within
the defense area is kept to a minimum.

a. The preparation of the counterattack route for a striking force

receives high priority. A reconnaissance is conducted for each counter-
attack plan to determine the requirements for improving the route so
as to facilitate the movement of the striking force/reserve. This task
includes the reconnaissance and improvement of routes to supplemen-
tary pOSitions and the preparation of routes and helicopterborne landing
zones to facilitate the rapid movement of troops to blocking positions.

b. Strengthening the pOSition provides for construction of obstacles

and minefields and, when directed, the planned use of chemical wea-
pons. Landing force units use protective-type obstacles and mines to
provide close -in defense for each blocking position. Extensive route
mining is normally conducted along principal avenues of approach when
time permits.

FMFM 9-3



The execution of the antimechanized operation provides for both

offensive and defensive actions on the part of the landing force. Of-
fensive type actions are conducted to prevent enemy me chanized forces
from interfering with the landing force in the accomplishment of
its basic amphibious mission. Defensive type actions; i. e., mobile
or area defense, are conducted by the landing force to counter the
assault of enemy tanks. This section discusses both type operations
in their normal sequence of development. .


Prior to the arrival of the amphibious task force in the amphi-

bious objective area, the principal means available to attack hostile
mechanized forces are fast naval striking forces and theater air forces.
When such operations have been requested by the amphibious task force
commander, they are ordered by higher authority. Destruction of hostile
mechanized forces is conducted in coordination with supporting opera-
tions such as feints and demonstrations, interdiction operations, and air
operations deSigned to gain or maintain air, ground, or naval supremacy.
In situations where it appears that the enemy armored strength will
present a marked threat, the theater commander coordinates with the
ATF commander and initiates aggressive action against hostile armored
forces. Theater and fleet air continue to attack hostile armor in the
vicinity of the objective area until such time as the attack aircraft of the
amphibious task force are able to conduct their own antitank strikes. Air-
craft, while carrying out antimechanized miSSions, attack hostile armored
forces, fuel dumps, and repair installations. Isolation of the objective
area is aided by bridge destruction, road cutting, route mining, and
establishment of chemical barrier systems in depth. During pre-D-day
bombardment by fire support ships, naval gunfire performs antitank
missions similar to those discussed above.


Once the amphibious task force is in the objective area, the

destructive power of naval gunfire against hostile tanks augments air-
craft efforts. During the preparatory naval bombardment, fire support
ships give priority of fire to mechanized targets that come within their
zone of responsibility and attempt to isolate the battle area.


FMFM 9-3


As the landing force proceeds ashore, air and naval gunfire

continue their antitank efforts, receiving targets initially from aerial
observers and from forward air controllers and naval gunfire spotters
with the assault troops.

a. During the early stages of the landing attack, the principal de-
fense against hostile tanks continues to be aircraft supplemented by
naval gunfire. They attack hostile mechanized targets which appear,
destroying or dispersing them and delaying the enemy buildup. This
action facilitates the rapid seizure of initial objectives by elements
of the landing force thus permitting the early landing of additional
antitank weapons. During this period units may be landed by helicop-
ter to delay and harass hostile mechanized units. They can assist in
canalizaing any future hostile mechanized effort by route mining and
obstacle construction. While the landing force is only beginning to
develop its full antimechanized capability during this period, the enemy
reaction is also normally limited. The enemy is generally limited to
local forces which are already present in the landing area. Usually
major mechanized forces are not committed by the enemy until he
confirms which is the principal landing.

b. Amphibious task force and landing force air elements continue

their antitank search and attack missions throughout the conduct of
the entire operation. Theater and fleet air elements may assist as
required and requested both within and beyond the objective area. Air
attack missions are carried out from the forward elements in contact
to the limit of the aircraft's respective combat radius or the limits of
the objective area. Naval gunfire ships reorient their antitank efforts
as the forward elements of the landing force pass beyond the effective
range of their weapons. At that time they direct their antimechanized
efforts to the flanks of the landing force.

c. As the strength of the landing force builds up ashore, its capa-

bility to defeat a hostile mechanized force increases. During the pro-
gress of the landing, there is an increase in the number and effective-
ness of the antimechanized weapons ashore. The assault infantry, both
vertical envelopment and beach assault units, possess organic antitank
weapons which have a high kill probability at short ranges. Tanks are
landed as early as possible for the dual purpose of adding combat
power to the assault and providing antitank protection for the landing
force. As soon as pOSSible, the antitank battalion is brought ashore
and placed in positions in depth astride probable avenues of hostile

FMFM 9-3

mechanized approach.
ing of the artillery.
Added antitank strength accrues from the land-

d. If the mechanized threat in the landing area is of serious pro-

portions, the heavy antitank weapons such as tanks and Ontos are land-

ed in the early waves. Tanks may be landed in the first wave of the
beach assault if circumstances permit and indicate the desirability of
this course of action. In the case of units landed by helicopter, these
units land only in areas which will not place them in imminent danger
of an enemy tank attack. Successful operations of such forces require
that the landing zone be free of enemy mechanized forces long enough
for them to organize and provide for their defense.


All antimechanized actions open to the landing force are not of

a defensive nature. Air and supporting arms are employed to attack
enemy tanks as far out from the landing force as possible. In addi-
tion the helicopter fires the landing force a versatile vehicle for the
conduct of aggressive antitank actions throughout the area of operations
at times and places of the landing force'S choosing. Such offensive
actions serve to relieve the pressures of hostile mechanized attack
against the landing force.

a. Helicopters can readily transport forces with a mission to strike

at the highly vulnerable support elements of the hostile mechanized
force. These strikes are aimed at fuel dumps, maintenance shops,
ration stores, and ammunition supplies.

b. Similar small units, skilled in demolitions and mining, cut routes
used by hostile mechanized forces by mining roads and blowing bridges.
This serves either to impede the entry of hostile armor into the land-
ing force objective area or to cut the armor off from its combat sup-
port troops and logistic train.

c. When feaSible, these small raiding parties conduct ambush

operations against the hostile armor itself or its logistic train.

d. Helicopterborne antimechanized units are employed whenever

practicable within the range of friendly supporting fires. Their em-
ployment is closely coordinated with friendly aircraft.


FMFM 9-3


The attack of enemy tanks in force normally compels the land-

ing force to aSSume the defense. When the landing force as a whole
is forced to adopt a mobile or area-type defense, immediate steps
are taken to execute prearranged defensive plans to include barrier
plans. Thereafter, in the execution of the defense, the commander
takes as positive and aggressive action as is feasible. In the execu-
tion of the antimechanized defense he considers the following:

a. Unless surprise offers a greater opportunity for success, ad-

vancing hostile mechanized forces are taken under fire as early as
possible, at first by air, then by other supporting arms. As the
enemy advances, he is taken under fire by the security forces who
warn, deceive, and execute maximum damage and delay within their
capabilities, without becoming decisively engaged. They attempt to in
inflict maximum casualties on the advancing hostile mechanized forces
and force them to deploy. Elements of the security force, such as
stay-behind patrols, may remain in the area after passage of the
enemy as a means of collecting information and to direct friendly sup-
porting fires against followup enemy forces.

b. The attacker's strength and dispoSition during the engagement

with the security forces and the destructive effect of the landing force's
long range antimechanized resources on the hostile force may be such
as to favor the counterattack by the striking force/reserve forward of
the FEBA to destroy the enemy. When considering such a counter-
attack, the commander carefully weighs the risks involved in terms
of their effects on the accomplishment of the landing force'S overall

c. ConSideration is given to the execution of a spoiling attack to

distrupt the hostile mechanized attack during its formative stages.
Care is exercised in the selection of this force to preclude piecemeal
commitment of the striking force/reserve or of component elements
to the detriment of the landing force's overall mission.

d. As the security forces withdraw through landing force elements

in the forward battle area, the enemy is taken under fire by all wea-
pons within effective range. Forces occupying positions within the
forward battle area conduct their portion of the antimechanized action
essentially as a delaying action extending over considerable depth. As
the attack develops, commanders of landing force elements are able
i to judge the degree to which specific terrain features must be held.
,I 119
FMFM 9-3

Forces and fires not affected by the attack are shifted to establish
supplementary blocking positions along the axis of the hostile mech-
anized attack and to concentrate massed fires against the enemy.
Landing force elements may occupy defensive blocking positions from

company to battalion size along the path or flanks of the hostile attack-
ing force or the force beachhead line (FBHL) to compel the enemy to
mass or become canalized. No attempt is made to hold terrain for
its own sake; it is held only for that period of time during which its
retention contributes to the overall plan. When circumstances dictate,
landing force elements may be given the mission of occupying strong-
points to be defended at all cost. Such actions must be essential to the
accomplishment of the mission since forces in a strongpoint lose free-
dom of maneuver by the nature of their mission. Forces within the
forward battle area may be employed in limited offensive action when
opportunities occur to inflict damage on the enemy.

e. If the enemy penetrates the landing force's pOSitions, the gap

created by such a penetration is immediately sealed by fire. Massed
air, naval gunfire, and artillery are employed to separate the enemy's
tanks from their supporting infantry and combat support elements so
as to destroy the continuity of the hostile attack. Landing force units

on the flanks of the penetration "shoulder the gap" and mass all avail-
able antitank fires against the enemy force. Such units are "boxed
in" with artillery and naval gunfire when necessary to counter the
followup assault of the enemy's mechanized infantry.

f. The decision as to when and where the counterattack should be

launched by the striking force/reserve is made as the situation develops.
Normally, the counterattack is made when the enemy attack has been
slowed, stopped, or disorganized. However, these are not essential
prerequisites to the counterattack. Criteria for determining where
and when the counterattack should be launched are primarily those for
assessing offensive maneuver. Success depends, among other things,
on determination, surprise, boldness, speed, shock effect and firepower.
For a more detailed discussion of counterattack planning see the "6"
series of Fleet Marine Force Manuals.

g. The striking force/reserve is normally committed as a unit to

destroy the hostile mechanized force. The counterattack plan may
include terrain objectives for control purposes, but the goal of the
striking force/reserve is destruction of the enemy, not seizure of
terrain to restore the battle pOSition. The striking force/reserve seeks
to employ the principles of offensive action to destroy enemy mech-
anized units, reserves, command facilities, fire support elements, and

FMFM 9-3

combat service support. Commanders at all levels employ all means

to increase the violence of their attacks.

h. In dealing with multiple penetration, the most effective method

is the elimination of hostile mechanized forces in the order of the
seriousness of the threats. Simultaneous counterattacks by elements
of the striking force/reserve divide combat power and are avoided.


If enemy tanks succeed in penetrating the blanket of heavy anti-

tank fire and make contact with elements of the landing force, it is
possible for the individuals of such elements to repulse the attack.
The variety and number of antitank weapons organic to every unit,
coupled with the individual's antimechanized training and his will to
stay and fight, provide an excellent capability to defeat hostile mech-
anized forces. The skilled use of demolitions, thermite and white
phosporus grenades, flamethrowers, antitank rifle grenades, light
assault antitank weapons, rocket launchers, and recoilless rifles is
a major requirement for the conduct of successful antitank action.

FMFM 9-3

Section IX:


Antimechanized planning provides for appropriate antimechanized
resources to satisfy the basic requirement for a tank-heavy striking
force/reserve at the division level. The size, composition, and or-
ganization of a division striking force/reserve, when employed, is
derived from its mission, the hostile mechanized situation, traffica-
bility in the area of operations, and the landing force scheme of ma-
neuver. The employment of the striking force in offensive operations
is similar to employment of the striking force in mobile defensive
operations. An infantry regiment reinforced with antimechanized re-
sources, principally tanks and Ontos, may constitute the striking
force/reserve. It employs helicopters and amphibian tractors and is
provided motor transport support as required to make it completely
mobile and/or motorized

a. When assigned such a mission, the infantry regiment normally

is reinforced to form a task organization of combined arms suitable
for tank-killing operations. Planning for the operations of such a
striking force is extensive due to the individual characteristics of the
units involved.

(1) Tanks, Ontos, and amphibian tractors are relatively sen-

sitive to certain types of terrain and require considerable logistic and
service support when operating over extended distances.

(2) To provide the necessary fuel, spare parts, and mainte-

nance for these vehicles, ground supply routes must be available. It
may be possible to mobile load sufficient supplies and include mainte-
nance elements within the force. In addition, air resupply is planned
to facilitate striking force operations.


Plans for the employment of the striking force/reserve are

flexible, and its missions are generally designed to provide for the
accomplishment of the following operations:

a. Counterattack operations to limit, contain, and destroy hostile

mechanized forces forward of or within the battle area.


FMFM 9-3

b. Linkup operations to support separate task groupments under

attack by hostile mechanized forces, and to assist isolated landing
force elements that have been cut off by hostile mechanized penetrations.

c. Pursuit and exploitation operations against withdrawing hostile

mechanized elements.


A typical organization for combat of the striking force/reserve

generally includes tanks, mechanized-motorized infantry, and mobile
and flexible combat and combat service support elements.

a. Tanks are the principal shock element of the striking force.

They are employed to deliver the "knockout" blow against hostile tanks
contained in a killing zone by infantry blocking poSitions, supporting
arms fires, and barriers. They are supported by appropriate mech-
anized-motorized infantry, antitank elements, and supporting arms.
other combat support is provided as required

b. Helicopterborne infantry elements, Ontos, and mobile antitank

weapons may be used in containing missions by the striking force.
They are employed to move rapidly to designated killing zones where
they organize the area to block and contain the penetration of hostile
mechanized forces.

c. When a contained hostile force is in a killing zone which is

within the range of emplaced artillery, fire support is normally pro-
vided by external artillery assigned a tactical mission of direct sup-
port of the strike force rather than to form an attached fire support
group for the striking force. This ensures immediate availability of
fires and reduces logistic requirements of the striking force. If the
killing zone is outside the range of artillery fire, self-propelled artil-
lery or amphibian howitzers are generally attached to the striking

d. Engineer support is required to breach minefields and obstacles

that impede the advance of mechanized elements of the striking force.
Engineer support also organizes and constructs antit~ barriers within
designated killing zones. They also construct covered pOSitions for
the striking force's heavy antitank weapons.

e. Close air support is vital to the striking force to cover the

advance of the striking force or its organic groups moving separately.


FMFM 9-3

It locates and attacks hostile mechanized elements well forward of

friendly advance elements in order to ensure the uninterrupted ad-
vance of the striking force and supports the attack of the striking
force. Tactical air control parties with the force may operate from
command amphibian tractors. Aerial observation is provided the
striking force to search in depth, to the front and to the flanks in
order to locate, provide early warning of hostile mechanized forces,
and to report location of barriers that will impede the advance of the
striking force. Mobile antiaircraft vehicles are included in the force
if they are available and if air opposition is expected.

All elements attached to or supporting the striking force must
be capable of a high degree of mobility. This mobility, particularly
for the service support and combat support groups, is attained by
the use of organic or attached motor transport and amphibian vehicles.



The conduct of antimechanized operations within the framework

of the amphibious assault may necessitate the execution of linkup oper-
ations. This normally occurs when it is necessary that surface forces
link up with helicopter landed forces or whenever the striking force
or elements thereof link up with assault elements on the battlefield
that are isolated by a hostile mechanized action. The period imme-
diately prior to and during the linkup of the two forces is critical.
Substantial hostile mechanized forces pose a serious threat to a heli-

copteroorne force or other isolated forces and may be interposed be-
tween the two friendly forces. Careful planning and detailed coordina-
tion involving the two forces are essential to ensure timely and effec-
tive linkup operations and to provide adequate antimechanized resources
to preclude annihilation or capture of the threatened force. Fires
placed on targets between two friendly forces involved in linkup oper-
ations necessitate close supervision to ensure the safety of the con-
verging forces.
a. Plans for the linkup operations ensure coordinated employment
of the two forces when concerted action is necessary. A common
commander is designated by the headquarters directing the operation.

bo To accomplish the linkup of forces, prearranged plans are made



FMFM 9-3

(1) Linkup of forces.

(2) Mutual identification and recognition of units and personnel.

(3) Easy identification of positions.

(4) Fire eoordination measures. (See fig. 22.)

(5) Maximum use of helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft for

liaison, control, and communications between the two forces during
the linkUp.

c. When operations involve a coordinated helicopter and mechanized

surface movement of a striking force, the plans for linkup are prepared
and confirmed for execution on order, and any final arrangements are
made when the force nears the stationary force. Plans for linkup of
forces specify when command or control of all forces involved comes
under the designated commander.


During the conduct of antimechanized operations, landing force

elements remain constantly alert for the opportunity to exploit any
successes by employing offensive tactics. A mobile -type striking
force is best suited to conduct such operations. Accordingly, the
striking force plans to exploit and pursue hostile mechanized forces
that have been deCisively defeated or damaged or that attempt to
disengage from the landing force and make a withdrawal from action.

a. Objectives deep to the rear of the hostile mechanized force are

selected. (See fig. 23.) Their seizure is designed to deny the hostile
mechanized forces routes of escape and to establish powerful blocking
pOSitions to their rear along their probable routes of withdrawal. It
permits the landing force to encircle the enemy mechanized remnants
and to subject him to increasing massed supporting fires in depth.
Plans are executed to destroy his communication centers and logistical
installations to impede, confuse, and slow his attempted withdrawal.

b. Tank-infantry elements of the striking force may be employed

to maintain pressure against withdrawing enemy forces. A containing
group employing helicopter-lifted infantry antitank elements may be
utilized to occupy deep blocking pOSitions. Artillery is attached to
facilitate the exploitation. Full use is made of tactical air for fire
I support and reconnaissance.

~ 125
FMFM 9-3




",.. D'ES1G~
__ _
p..'t'ED DURING ItDlT<'1 -
NeE: .......



-- -
BL \


Figure 22. --Fire Coordination Measures in Linkup Operations .


FMFM 9-3






/ /

Figure 23. --Pursuit of Withdrawing Mechanized Forces.

c. Resumption of the offensive and/or exploitation may be initiated

on order upon containment of hostile mechanized forces forward of the
FEBA or upon containment and/or destruction of the hostile me chanized
force within predeSignated killing zones within the battle area.

d. With adequate nuclear support the planned exploitation can be

launched with the counterattack of the hostile mechanized force or at
any time thereafter. It depends primarily upon the effectiveness of
the planned antimechanized fires in destroying and stopping the advance
of the hostile mechanized force.

e. Once the exploitation is begun, planning provides that it be

carried out without letup to the seizure of the final objective. The
planning ensures that the hostile mechanized force is given no relief
from offensive pressure and is constantly attacked with all available

antimechanized resources.

FMFM 9-3




Antimechanized means include all means, both active and

passive, which can be employed effectively against hostile mechanized
forces. This chapter discusses the antimechanized means normally
available to a landing force in the amphibious assault. It delineates
antimechanized means organiC to the Marine division and those avail-
able from force and external sources. The approach to the subject
is general in nature and comments are restricted to types of weapons
rather than anyone specific individual weapon. PrinCipal emphasis
is placed on the tactical employment and integrated control and employ-
ment of the various antimechanized means. Appendixes F through I
contain detailed discussions of the antitank grenade, 3. 5-inch rocket
launcher, M72 light assault antitank weapon (LAAW), and 106mm
rifle, M40Al.


The active antimechanized means, those capable of killing or

disabling tanks, which are available to the landing force include:

FMFM 9-3
a. Individual antitank weapons. I
b. Ground-mounted and self-propelled antitank/assault weapons.

c. Rocket launchers.

d Mines.

e. Demolitions.

f. Tanks.

g. Artillery.

h. Amphibian howitzers.

i. Naval gunfire.

j. Aircraft.

k. Nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons.


Passive antimechanized defense includes all measures other

than active which are designed to minimize the effects of a hostile
mechanized attack. They include the use of:

a. Cover.

b. Concealment.

c. Camouflage.

d. Obstacles and barriers. ,

e. Smoke.

f. Illumination.

g. Radio jamming/electromagnetic radiations,

FMFM 9-3


In view of the many antimechanized situations which may be

encountered in the amphibious assault, the successful employment of
landing force antimechanized resources does not place undue reliance
on any single antimechanized means. It integrates, coordinates, and
controls a balanced system of complementary weapons. In an anti-
mechanized operation there is a time and place for the effective employ-
ment of each weapon in the landing force's antimechanized arsenal.
Success on the battlefield depends upon the commander's ability to
employ each weapon in its proper place at the proper time.

FMFM 9-3

Section IT:


Ingenuity, courage, and intensive training can make every
Marine a tank killer. This is particularly necessary during the early
stages of an amphibious operation when the heavier antitank weapons
organic to the landing force either are not available or are restricted
in the beach area. During the buildup of such forces the Marine
infantryman assumes a significant share of the landing force's antimech-
anized defenses. This section discusses the antimechanized means and
measures employed by the individual Marine and the techniques he uses
to engage hostile tanks.


Any antitank weapon is no better than the Marine who employs

it. Killing tanks involves more than developing more effective wea-
pons. It requires highly trained, disciplined, and self confident per-
sonnel. In particular, it requires Marines who have sufficient intes-
tinal fortitude to engage tanks by fire at ranges close enough to ensure
first shot hits. Such a spirit requires a degree of confidence and
skill which can only be instilled by a sound training program. Accord-
ingly, training for the antimechanized operation is designed to teach the
individual Marine the following:

a. The capabilities and limitations of enemy tanks and armored


b. How to employ his organic antitank weapons effectively.

c. How to design and improvise weapons to stop tanks.

d. How to take advantage of available cover and concealment.

e. How to engage tanks in the offense and defense.

f. How to close in on the blind spot behind the tank gun.


Iridividual protection against tanks on the battlefield begins with

the Marine accepting the fact that no matter how terrifying a tank

FMFM 9-3

attack may be, there is no running away from it. The only real source
of protection against tanks is to stay and fight. A well dug in posi-
tion such as that depicted in figure 24, when properly concealed and
camouflaged, provides maximum protection. Individual training
stresses the skills necessary to build such positions and provides the
opportunity for all Marines to occupy them while tanks drive overhead.


Principal antimechanized means available to the individual

Marine include grenades, rocket launchers, and the M72 light assault
antitank weapon (LAAW). Tactical employment of these weapons is
similar to that for other antitank weapons and is delineated in paragraph
4303 of this manual. The principal difference results from their
characteristically shorter effective ranges.


In exceptional cases the individual Mafine may be compelled to

improvise antitank weapons from materials which are readily available
to him. Examples of such weapons are:

a. Fire Bomb. --The fire bomb is an improved Molotov cocktail.

A bottle is filled with gasoline and securely corked. An HC (smoke)
or white- phosphorous (WP) grenade is taped to the bottle's side. At
50 feet from the tank the pin is pulled and the bottle is heaved so as
to smash it against the turret or de ck. It does the double job of
smoking and setting fire to the tank.

b. Fire Ball. - -The fire ball is made from an empty machinegun

ammunition box filled with napalm. An incendiary burster, a WP
grenade, or trip flare inside the box may be used to cause detonation.
This charge will burn fiercely after exploding, dripping down into the
engine and blocking air intake for both crew and engine. The crew
is smothered and the tank stops. Rubber track and suspension
components also can be set afire by this charge.

Co Pole and Satchel Charges. --Pole and satchel charges are effec-
tive, improvised tank stoppers. They can jam the turret or blow off
drive sprockets and treads.

d. Rocket Ambush. --The rocket ambush was developed in World

War IL A rocket round is buried in a roadside bank and connected

FMFM 9-3

with a radio battery so that a tank will fire it by touching a

trip wire laid across the road. The rocket round is aimed to
strike the side of the tank firing it.

e. Daisy Chain. --The daisy chain is another device employed in

World War II. It consists of three mines joined together by a detona-
ting cord with approximately 5 feet between mines. The Marine
conceals this beside the road, attaches a long wire or cord to the
chain of mines, conceals himself 50 to 100 feet away, and pulls the
chain of mines across the road just as the enemy tanks reach the



_ Clearance_
2 Feet

Figure 24. --Individual Antitank Position.

FMFM 9-3

f. Bolo Bomb. --The bolo bomb was developed from World War n
captured German training films. This device is made up of two AT
mines, a detonating cord connecting both mines, blasting cap, time
fuze, igniter, and a rope long enough to hang on each side of the
tank. One mine is thrown over the tank while the other one with the
igniter is held and actuated. The Marine then moves out and takes
cover. The effect of the double detonation is devastating.

g. The 40-Pound Shaped or Cratering Charge. --The 40-pound shaped

or cratering charge, usually used to destroy bunkers, can be effective
against tanks. The Marine digs the charge into a road bed with the
base of the cone of the shaped charge up. It is then rigged with a
trip wire system so that the tank, when directly over the charge, fires
it ihto its own belly armor. This may blow the turret completely off.

h. String Mine. --The string mine consists of a line attached to a

standard antitank mine. The mine is emplaced forward of the individ-
ual positions and dragged under hostile tanks as they pass nearby.

i. Other Improvised AT Weapons. --Artillery rounds, air bombs,

etc., may be dug in and activated by a fuzing device or other means
to destroy tanks and vehicles.


a. In the defense against a supported tank attack in force, the

individual Marine engages hostile tanks from covered and concealed
positions. Such pOSitions are mutually supported and arranged laterally
and in depth. The key to success in such an engagement is to remain
cool and wait it out.

(1) Fire control procedures call for holding fire of light assault
antitank weapons until the tank has closed to the sure kill range.

(2) Antitank fire is directed at the flanks and rear of hostile


(3) Defensive pOSitions are not abandoned when overrun. Each

Marine remains in his foxhole and permits hostile tanks to pass over-
head. When the hostile tank has cleared his pOSition, the Marine rises
out and engages it with the light assault antitank weapon (LAAW) or
improvised antitank weapons.

FMFM 9-3

b. When eaemy tanks are unsupported or become isolated from

one another, the individual Marine armed with the LAAW, smoke,
antitank grenades, or enough ingenuity to improvise an effective anti-
tank weapon, can engage and kill them.

c. Small unit planning to attack a hostile tank is simple and flex-

ible.. The attack encompasses the basic principles of fire and maneuver.
Essentially, the attack follows the pattern depicted in figure 25.

(1) A base of fire element--individual, fire team, or squad--

engages the hostile tank with M72s and small arms fire from concealed
and covered positions to disable the tank and/or cause it to button up.

(2) A maneuver element--individual, fire team, or squad--

approaches the tank from its blind side and engages it with its organiC
and/or improvised antitank weapons to complete the destruction of the
enemy tank.
(3) The base of fire element covers the withdrawal of the maneu-
ver element with fire and smoke.

d. The individual Marine on combat patrols may also operate
offensively against tanks. The best plan for such patrols is to hide in
areas impassable to armor such as swamps and woods. They remain
concealed during daytime, emerging at night in guerrilla fashion to
prey on unsuspecting tanks and to conduct aggressive small-scale raids
on POL dumps, tank parks, and maintenance and logistic facilities.


FMFM 9-3



o o
Figure 25. - -Small Unit Attack of Tank.

FMFM 9-3



The antitank (AT) weapons available to the landing force include

rocket launchers, light assault antitank weapons (LAAWs), and ground-
mounted and sell-propelled antitank guns. This section discusses the
tactical doctrine, characteristics, and employment of these AT weapons.
For a detailed discussion of antitank weapons organic to the Marine
division, see appendixes F through I.


The primary tactic in the employment of antitank weapons in

the antimechanized operations is ambush. Antitank weapons are em-
placed where they can fire at enemy tanks from concealed and covered
pOSitions. This technique is deSigned to surprise the enemy tanks and
to gain the tactical advantage of firing first. Such actions are most
effective when fires are arranged to strike the flanks of the enemy tanks.
Where practicable, these flanking fires are delivered from firing posi-
tions which cannot be observed by overwatching antitank guns or enemy
observation posts while the fire mission is being executed. Tactical
doctrine for the employment of antitank weapons conforms to the fol-
lowing general principles:

a. Maximum utilization is made of available camouflage and con-


b. Weapons are arranged to mutually support one another.

c. Weapons are echeloned in depth.

d. Weapons are sited so as to get a flanking shot.

e. Weapons are employed in mass. (Piecemeal commitment

serves no purpose.)

f. The fires of all weapons are coordinated.

g. Weapons are not emplaced independently.

h. Weapons are provided infantry protection.


FMFM 9-3


The distinguishing characteristic of all antitank weapons is that

they are fired by direct observation. An important consideration in
their employment is to get a hit with the first round fired. Tactical
rules for employing antitank weapons provide for the following:

a. Avoiding Frontal Fires. --Generally, frontal fires are avoided

except when covering a sunken road. In this situation an antitank wea-
pon is sited above the road, shooting down and along it.

b. Emplacing AT Weapons to the Flank. --The antitank weapon is

emplaced to the flank. This provides an advantage since the crew of
an attacking tank generally directs their vision to the front. When
buttoned up, the occupants can tell only on which side it has been hit.

c. Aiming AT Weapons to the Rear of Tanks. --The antitank weapon

is aimed so that it will hit the side of the enemy ta~ towards its left
or right rear at an impact angle of not more than 30 from the per-
pendicular. The proper manner for aiming an antitank weapon is
illustrated in figure 26.

d. Echeloning AT Weapons. --Antitank weapons are echeloned lat-

erally and in depth to support one another from the attack of following
tanks. Echelonment ensures adequate supporting fires to cover the dis-
placement of weapons that have been fired and are moving to alternate or
supplementary positions.
(1) Tactical Layouts. --Tactical layouts for antitank weapons
are coordinated to eliminate gaps and to ensure that at least two wea-
pons are aSSigned the same responsibility.

(2) Overlap. --All weapons are sited to ensure overlap of fires

and provide cover of blind or defiladed areas of adjacent weapons.

(3) Reverse Slope. --Weapons may be employed on reverse

slopes to engage enemy tanks which are extremely vulnerable as they
cross the intervening military crests. (See fig. 27.)

e. Siting AT Weapons in Covered Positions. --AT weapons are sited

so that they are defiladed from the direction of the enemy. Conceal-
ment of flash and/or backblast is essential. In particular:

FMFM 9-3

RIGHT WAY: AT weapon is sighted

to engage tank from flank at a 00
angle of obliquity

-" -
..... .- ..... ?,,,,P
30 0

WRONG WAY: AT weapon is Sighted to

engage tank from front. This requires
maximum armor penetration for a kill
Sloping armor of tank and/or high angle
of obliquity may cause projectlcle to
bounce off.

Figure 26. --Aiming Procedures for Antitank Weapons .


FMFM 9-3

(1) Siting of AT weapons in exposed positions on forward slopes

is avoided excepting those weapons assigned long range fires.

(2) AT weapons are located off the skyline.

(3) AT weapons avoid obvious landmarks.

f. Establishing Positive Fire Control Procedures. --Positive fire

control procedures are maintained to ensure that weapons do not fire
prematurely and that firepower is restricted to tank-type targets and
not dissipated on lesser threats. Fires are held in check until there
is a reasonable ensurance of getting a hit with the first shot.

g. Protecting AT Weapons. --Antitank weapons are covered with

supporting fires. All means of antimechanized defenses are combined
to provide an overall coordinated defense.

h. Employing Ambush Techniques. --When practicable, antitank

weapons may employ ambush techniques. Such techniques, illustrated
in figure 28, are based on:

(1) Deploying a number of antitank weapons laterally and in

depth along suitable terrain to form a natural container.

(2) Permitting hostile tanks to advance well into the container.

(3) Withholding fires to the last possible moment and, on order,

engaging the enemy tanks by massed surprise fires.


a. Selection of Positions. --The selection of pOSitions for antitank

weapons is based upon complete and thorough reconnaissance. In
chOOSing a pOSition, the eyes of the individual selecting it are kept on
the same level as that of the antitank weapon after the position is
occupied. Complete reconnaissance includes getting out and taking a
good look at the position from the enemy's point of view. Familiarity
with all aspe cts of the terrain is vital. Such a pOSition should:

(1) Cover a principal avenue of approach.

(2) Provide suitable cover and concealment.

FMFM 9-3


Figure 27. --Placing of Antitank Weapons.



Figure 28. --Ambush Techniques.


FMFM 9-3

(3) Provide protected routes to alternate and supplementary


(4) Be mutally supporting with other antitank weapons laterally

and in depth.

b. Occupation of Position. --Occupation and organization of the posi-

tion is normally executed in the following manner:

(1) Personnel manning the weapon are brought forward to a

covered position to the rear of the selected position.

(2) Personnel are thoro~ghly briefed on the situation. Specific

questions of importance include:

(a) Where is the enemy?

(b) What are we going to do to get him?

(c) How much time do we have?

(3) The weapon position is pointed out.

(4) The weapon is emplaced in emergency action covering the

most likely avenue of approach.

(5) Local security is posted.

(6) Positions to be dug in are outlined

(7) Digging is begun and is progressive, consisting of:

(a) Digging in the position for the weapons primary field

of fire first.

(b) Developing alternate and supplementary firing positions.

(c) Constructing crawl trenches and foxholes.

(d) Building ammunition trenches and personnel pits.

(e) Camouflaging the position.

FMFM 9-3

(8) Range cards are prepared for primary, alternate, and

supplementary positions.

(9) All ammunition is checked.

(10) Mutual support is checked.

(11) Fire control procedures are established

(12) Movement and camouflage discipline is strictly enforced


FMFM 9-3



There are no tanks in the Marine division. Tanks to support

a Marine division are located in the force tank battalion and, when
organized, separate tank companies. Unless augmented with additional
tank units, the division normally possesses an inferior tank strength
when operating against a mechanized enemy. This section discusses
the tactical doctrine, employment, and antimechanized role of the tanks
and tank units available to the landing force. For a more detailed
dis cussion of tanks see FMFM 9 -1, Tank Employment; and FM 17 -1,
Armor Operations, Small Units.


The primary mission of tank units is to provide close support

to infantry units in the amphibious assault. While extremely effective
in a defensive role as a tank killer, armor's role in such actions is
secondary to its employment in an offensive role, either in support of
an infantry attack or asa striking force. When employed in an anti-
mechanized operation, tactical doctrine for tanks conforms to the
following general prinCiples:

a. Tanks operate offensively against mechanized forces wherever

possible. Success in a tank action depends upon retention of the

b. The deliberate tank against tank battle is delayed as long as

possible. Tanks are held in a centralized area until an enemy mech-
anized force is partially diSSipated by supporting fires, mines, and
direct fire weapons.

c. Tank actions are preceded by complete and detailed reconnaissance

of the area of operations. Tank units seek out terrain which is traf-
ficable and which will give them a tactical advantage over hostile
mechanized forces.

d. Tanks are employed in mass. Centralized control and coordin-

ation are utilized to focus the maximum number of friendly tanks
possible at the point of decision.

e. Tank units generally seek out situations in which they can

capitalize on their inherent mobility. Static positioning is considered
as a last resort and then done only when dictated by tactical necessity.
FMFM 9-3

f. Tank units constantly strive to surprise the enemy in order to

gain the tactical advantage of massed surprise fires.

g. Tank units employ fire and maneuver in the attack.

h. Tank attacks are closely coordinated with all available antitank

weapons. Tanks attract tanks and, if skillfully employed, can be used
to lure hostile mechanized forces into the prearranged killing areas
for attack by the landing force's antitank weapons. When possible,
direct fire antitank weapons provide covering fires for tank employment.

i. Tanks are covered with all available supporting fires.

j. Tanks are accompanied by mobile infantry and engineers.


a. Missions. --The tank unit is assigned antimechanized missions

in which it can use its mobility and shockpower to delay, block, and
destroy enemy tanks. Such miSSions, depi~ted in figure 29, include:



Long range direct fire support.

Establishment of blocking, delaying, or containing positions.

Delaying actions.

(4) Limited objective attacks.

(5) Execution of a counterattack as part of a tank-heavy strik-

ing force.

b. Employment Considerations. - -The terrain of the beachhead and

the composition of the enemy force have a decisive influence on the
employment of tanks in antimechanized operations. The tank unit may
be used to increase the counterattack strength of the supported infantry
unit or to ensure adequate defense against enemy mass tank attacks.
Terrain which affords good fields of fire and observation permits the
concentration of armor in positions to the rear. In the dispOSition of
the tank unit, care is taken to ensure that terrain corridors and other
avenues of approach for enemy tanks can be reached by tanks and are
covered by fire and observation.


FMFM 9-3






Figure 29. --Tank Missions in Antimechanized Operations.


FMFM 9-3

c. Organization for Antimechanized Employment. --There are a

number of possibilities for the employment of tank units in an anti-
mechanized operation. Among these are the following:

(1) The entire tank unit may be in the reserve.

(2) One or more tank elements of the unit may be in direct

support of the landing team assaulting the most probable sector for
enemy armor attack with the remaining tank elements in the reserve.

(3) One or more elements of the tank unit may be in direct

support of each of two or more landing teams, and the remaining ele-
ments remain in the reserve.

(4) The reinforced tank unit may be employed as the reserve.

(5) The entire tank unit may be in direct support of a landing

team assaulting a beach or area defended by a mechanized force.

cL DefenSive Employment. --In most cases tank units assist in the

antimechanized defense by providing fire support and by employing
offensive tactics. Every effort is made to avoid static emplacement
of tanks. When employed in static pOSitions, tanks are placed and
utilized in a manner similar to other direct fire antitank weapons.
They take a position with at least hull defilade and take maximum
advantage of camouflage and concealment. (See fig. 30.) All tanks,
regardless of their mission, are positioned so that they have clear
fields of fire and can be readily maneuvered. The commander of a
forward infantry unit in defense against a mechanized attack employs
supporting tanks to provide antitank protection for his area of respon-
sibility, to furnish direct fire within the battle area, and to support
the counterattack.

(1) A portion of the tanks may be placed in positions from

which they can fire forward of the forward edge of the battle area
(FEBA). Tanks so situated are emplaced to be able to maneuver;
e. g., to withdraw and rejoin the remainder of tanks in the counter-
attack. These tanks should be protected by supported infantry elements.

(2) The remaining tanks may be placed in depth to cover possi-

ble enemy tank approaches. Tanks positioned in depth are prepared
to assist the reserve in counterattcks and are generally attached to
the reserve when it is committed.

FMFM 9-3




Figure 30. --Tanks Fire From Hull Defilade.

e. Striking Force Employment. - -The tank unit is most often em-

ployed as a component of a striking force. In this role it is used to
destroy any enemy tanks which may penetrate the battle area. The
capabilities of tank units to function effectively as part of a striking
force decrease as the number of tank elements detached from the
parent tank unit increase. Accordingly, when employed as part of the
striking force, tanks are retained as a unit whenever possible.

f. Reserve Employment. - -Supporting tank units may be used as

the reserve when the commander is so forced because of the width of
his sector or a depletion of his strength to commit all of his infantry
elements. In this situation the tank unit, reinforced with provisional
infantry, may be used to form a reserve. When the reserve performs
the mission of general outpost for the landing force, one of its normal
attachments will be an appropriate tank unit. When tank units are on
outpost duty, _they are located within the outguard position. They engage
enemy armor and mechanized elements at maximum range. Tanks
facilitate the rapid withdrawal of infantry elements. The tanks with-
draw over previously selected routes to their designated reserve areas.


FMFM 9-3


In an attack against enemy armor tank units use fire, maneuver,

and deception to permit the deployment of their weapons at the most
effective positions. (See fig. 31.) Normally, a thorough reconnaissance
is conducted prior to the engagement so as to take maximum advantage
of available cover and concealment. Smoke is employed to blind the
enemy and to Screen friendly movements. Surprise is best attained
by launching a tank attack against enemy tank elements when and where
they least expect to be attacked. By constant and thorough reconnais-
sance it is possible to determine the location of the least secure por-
tion of the enemy formation.

a. Artillery and naval gunfire support are used in conjunction with

the tank versus tank attack. The tank attack is directed against the
hostile flanks. Aggressive maneuvering and accurate fire by friendly
tanks, supporting weapons, and troops are combined into a furious and
continuous attack. Requests are submitted for airstrikes on known
enemy tank concentrations and are carefully coordinated with other
supporting fires and the attack of the maneuvering force.

b. It is sometimes possible for a tank unit to ambush enemy tanks

with flanking fire from covered or concealed positions. On such
occasions each tank is aSSigned a definite target. All tanks open fjre
simultaneously on order. Each tank strives to:

(1) Get off several aimed shots before the enemy can recover
and return the fire.

(2) Employ fire and maneuver against the surviving tanks as

soon as the first effect of surprise is over. The initial part of the
fight is planned in advance so that the attack is concentrated and


When the guns of the enemy tanks are infereior, friendly tanks
keep just beyond their effective range to attack and destroy them. In
the attack of an enemy whose armament is superior, supporting arms
can be employed to fire HE and smoke ammunition while the tanks fire
WP ammunition to blind and confuse the enemy. During this period
the striking force closes rapidly to effective range to attack hostile

FMFM 9-3

Figure 31. --Tanks Employ Fire and Maneuver in the Attack.

a. High Velocity Armor Piercing (HVAP). --HVAP or armor pierc-

ing-tracer (AP-T) ammunition is fully effective only if it completely
penetrates the enemy armor. Therefore, whenever possible, enemy
tanks are engaged at a range which ensures penetration. The Sides
and rear of the enemy tank provide less thickness than its frontal
plates and can be penetrated at greater ranges.

b. High Explosive (HE). --HE ammunition may be effective against

the tracks and suspension systems of hostile tanks at maximum effec-
tive range. HEP -T, high explosive plastic is extremely effective
against tanks at all angles of obliquity.

c. White Phosphorous (WP). --White phosphorous (WP) ammunition

has a demoralizing effect upon the enemy's tank crews. It may be
used to blind and disorient individual tanks and to set fire to those
that have already been damaged.

FMFM 9-3

d. High Explosive Antitank (HEAT). --High explosive antitank

(HEAT) ammunition is effective at maximum range since its penetration
does not decrease with a loss in velocity.

e. Concentrations of Fire. --When enemy tanks are engaged at a

range that does not ensure penetration, a concentration of fire can be
placed on individual tanks to retard their advance, to set fires, to
make maneuver difficult, and to provide opportunity for friendly tanks
to take advantageious pOSitions. HE, WP, and small arms fire are
employed to harass the tanks and their crews, to force them to button
up, and to blind and disorient them. AP -T or HVAP projectiles can
jam the enemy tank's turret ring or damage the gun when such hits
are obtained While the enemy tanks are being engaged with fire,
friendly tanks maneuver close enough to destroy them.


When the enemy's tanks are numerically superior, friendly

tanks in flanking positions fire on the enemy's flank initially, then
shift their fire towards the enemy's center. Center pOSitioned tanks
initially fire on the enemy's center tanks and them shift their fires
to the hostile flanks. This technique of distributing fires ensures that
all hostile tanks are taken under fire and kept under continuous fire.
Another method is to smoke some of the enemy's tanks and concentrate
fire on the others. H the enemy is outnumbered, fire should be massed
upon his tanks. Fire distribution may be accomplished by:

a. Ordering several friendly tanks to engage each hostile tank

until it is destroyed.

b. Engaging each enemy tank with one friendly tank while concen-
trating the fire of the remaining friendly tanks on successive enemy


In an antimechanized operation tanks attempt to fire before

hostile tanks can fire on them. While sufficient fire must be delivered
to ensure destruction or neutralization of a target in the shortest
possible time, fires are controlled to ensure that ammunition is not
expended carelessly and ineffectively. Tank unit commanders select
targets and control the volume and distribution of fire in consideration
of the following factors:


FMFM 9-3

a. Number of Tanks in Position of Fire. --When more tanks are

in position to fire than are needed to destroy a single target, only
those in the most favorable positions fire. A tank company may have
only one tank platoon in action while the remaining tanks are concealed
until other targets appear. Such techniques of control may lead the
enemy to underestimate the tank force opposing him, thereby producing
the opportunity for surprise.

b. Supporting Units Available. --When supporting units are available

to protect his flanks, the tank commander concentrates fire on targets
to the front. Otherwise, certain tanks are designated to watch for
targets of opportunity to the flanks and rear. Supporting arms (air,
artillery, naval gunfire, etc.) are employed against distant and/or
large area targets. This leaves the tanks free to engage close-in
hostile armor which poses an immediate threat to the landing force.

c. Target Range. --As the range to hostile targets increases, there

is a decrease in accuracy. This requires that a greater volume of
fire be delivered to ensure neutralization.

d. Number of Targets. --When there is more than one important

target, fire is distributed to engage as many targets as possible.
Should a more dangerous target appear at a moment when the tank
unit is fully engaged, certain tanks are designated to take it under
fire. When a tank unit does not have sufficient firepower to engage
all available targets, it requests assistance. Such a request includes
a statement of the type of fire support (artillery, naval gunfire, or
air) which appears most desirable. Meanwhile, the unit continues to
attack the most dangerous targets.

e. Types of Targets. --Generally, the more dangerous a target

the more fire is concentrated upon it. A target which is hard to see
is hard to hit and therefore requires a greater volume of fire than
one in the open. A well concealed tank may be difficult to destroy or
neutralize even though its general location is known.

f. Surprise. --When the tank unit is able to surprise an enemy

force, each platoon is given a definite sector of fire. The platoon
commanders, in turn, deSignate definite sectors of fire for each indi-
vidual tank. All tanks fire together on the commander's order. If
the tank unit is attacked suddenly, each tank commander immediately
engages the most dangerous targets in his assigned sector of fire.
The platoon commanders and company commanders determine the point
or pOints where additional fires should be concentrated.

FMFM 9-3



Once emplaced ashore, field artillery becomes a major means

of ground fire support for the landing force. Proper artillery organi-
zation and employment playa key role in the successful conduct of
the antimechanized operation. This section discusses the capabilities
and limitations of artillery means available to the landing force and
their employment against hostile mechanized forces. For a more
detailed discussion of the employment of field artillery, see FMFM
7 -4, Field Artillery Support.


In the antimechanized operations the landing force is supported

by organic division artillery units and force artillery elements. This
organization is flexIble with the artillery organization for combat
specifically tailored to meet the antimechanized requirement imposed
upon it. The variety of artillery weapons available to support the
landing force are depicted in figure 32. An example of a task organi-
zation for landing force artillery is contained in figure 33.


Marine artillery units are equipped with mobile cannons and

the means for fire control, movement, surveillance, and communications.

a. Capabilities. --Marine field artillery units possess the ability


(1) Maneuver nuclear fires and massed nonnuclear fires rapidly

against fixed and moving mechanized targets.

(2) Mass the fires of many weapons on one or a series of

mechanized targets.

(3) Deliver fire on mechanized forces without exposing the

artillery unit to direct observation or counterfire.

(4) Deliver accurate fires with appropriate ammunition on

mechanized forces under all conditions of weather and visibility from
artillery emplacements throughout the zone of action.

FMFM 9-3


Weapons l05mm How 107mm (4.2") 155mm How 155mm How 155mm Gun 8-inch How
Characteristics MIOIAI Mortar M98 MI14Al Carriage MI09 Carriage M53 Carriage M 55

Organization Div Arty Div Arty Div Arty Div Arty Force Arty Force Arty
Btry, OS Sn Btry, OS Sn Sep Btry!USMCR Btry, GS Bn Sep Btry!F AG Sep Btry!FAG

Classification Light Arty Light Arty Medium Arty Medium Arty Vediurn Arty Heavy Arty
(Towed) (Towed) (Towed) (Self-Propelled) (Self-Propelled) (Self-Propelled)

Ma.'l!:imum Range 11,000 5,500 14,600 14.600 23.300 16,800

(Meters) 18,500-

Maximum Elevation -8910 +117 to o to -53 to -89 to -89 to

(MUs) +1156 +1184 +1156 +1333 +1156 +1156

Traverse Limits 409 Right 63 Right 448 Right 6400 534 Right 533 Right
(Mils) & 400 Left & 63 Left & 418 Left & 534 Left & 5::'3 left

Weight (Lbs) 4,980 1,300 12.950 52.461 96.000 98,000


Airlift Capability Helicopter Helicopter CI24A CI33A CI33A CI33A

& Air Transport Phase Phase I Phase I Phase II Phase m Phase III Phase III

Sustained Rate I 11!2 I I 1!2 1!2

of Fire (Rds!Min)

Emplacing Time 7 7 12 9 12 12

Surf Capability With 72" W!Kit 70" W!Kit 78" W!Kit Amphibious 72" W!Kit 72" W!Kit
& Without Fording Kit 30" Wo!Kit 15" Wo!Kit 30" Wo!Kit 42" Wo!Kit 48" Wa!Kit 48" Wo!Kit

Type Primemover 2 1!2 Ton Trk 3!4 Ton Trk 5 Ton Trk (Se If - P rope lied) (Self-Propelled) (Self-Propelled)
& Max Speed 58 MPH 55 MPH 53 MPH 35 MPH ~O MPH 30 MPH

Fuel Capacity (Gas) 50 Gals 25 Gals 78 Gals 130 Gals* 380 Gals 380 Gals
Cruising Range 300 Miles 225 Miles 214 Miles 220 Miles 160 Miles 160 Miles
,. Extended Range Ammunition (HE, M470).
** Diesel

Figure 320 --Characteristics of Artillery Weapons Available to the

Landing Force.

(5) Deliver fire on mechanized units, assembly areas, and

attack positions even when they are located in defiladed areas.

(6) Deliver fires without adjustment to enhance the element of

shock and surprise and to attack the highly mobile and armored con-
centrations when and where they are mOflt vulnerable.

(7) Displace rapidly to new pOSitions to employ additional

artillery in order to deliver greater firepower on hostile mechanized
concentrations in assembly areas or in rapidly shifting containing
areas and killing zones.

b. Limitations. --The principal limitation of field artillery in anti-

mechanized operations is that, except for close range direct fire,
artillery does not possess the pinpoint accuracy required for a one

FMFM 9-3


L~_J Force (Corps) Arty Units

[!J Div Arty Units

- - Command
- - - - Fire Control NOTE:
FAG may control 3 to 6 Field Artillery Units.
MEe Marine Expeditionary Corps
FAG Field Arty Group r-,=-=_-_-_-_=-_-t-_---=_-_-I-_--_=-_-_-_-_--_---=_=--=_=-=_---....,
r~ // r ~'
I 11 FAG / I 12 FAG
LT..J ;f / ~=L_z::-:t:-=...J==_=_==_==
r-- /
....JI 31 I /
L __ ...J /
'1' 155 1~ /
/ / r-~-------------------_...,
,-'-- --------------------7

Figure 33. --Example of a Task Organization for Landing Force

round hit, and a direct hit is required to knock out a hostile tank. other
limitations include:

(1) The weight of artillery weapons limits the amount of artil-

lery employed in support of antimechanized elements that can be lifted
by helicopter.

(2) The surface mobility of the majority of the landing force's

artillery means generally is not equal to that of hostile mechanized
elements. It may be difficult to reposition artillery units in time to
meet a hostile antimechanized threat.

FMFM 9-3

(3) Artillery's requirement for maneuvering and positioning

space ashore and its vulnerability to hostile direct fire weapons re-
strict its time of landing and entry into combat and its availability in
support of antimechanized operations.

(4) Artillery is vulnerable to enemy air attack while displacing.

(5) Artillery generates logistical problems; e. g., complex fire

requirements in engaging mechanized targets, the necessity for rapid
displacement, the weight and bulk of ammunition expended against
mechanized concentrations, and the requirement for large quantities
of HEAT rounds.


Since the rapid concentration of artillery fires is essential to

both offensive and defensive action in the antimechanized operation,
centralized control of the supporting artillery is necessary. Every
effort is made to engage enemy mechanized forces with massed
artillery fires. Deceptive measures are employed to mislead the
enemy. Artillery movements are coordinated with the artillery and
supported commands. Position areas are selected to provide continuous
and effective artillery employment thoughout the action. In the early
stages of the amphibious assault, such pOSitions will be well forward
to support the attack. When the landing force is compelled to conduct
defensive operations to counter an enemy tank attack, artillery is
pOSitioned in depth throughout the battle area. In addition, the follow-
ing fundamentals for the tactical employment of artillery apply:

a. Artillery is located where it can accomplish aSSigned missions.

All locations are based on consideration of mechanized routes of
approach into the landing force's battle area.

b. Heavy and medium artillery are located so that they can effec-
tively cover the entire forward defensive area and deliver accurate
nuclear and nonnuclear fires with a minimum of displacement on likely
avenues of armor approach.

c. Artillery is echeloned in depth to provide continuous supporting

fire in the event of an enemy mechanized penetration.

d. Artillery should be capable of firing immediately forward of

the entire battle area. The bulk of division artillery should be able to
fire within the battle area. Some artillery is located in forward

FMFM 9-3

positions to attack enemy mechanized forces as a part of the GOPL.

Other artillery occupying positions throughout the remainder of the
battle area cover the withdrawal of friendly forces and continue to
execute antimechanized fires.

e. Some medium or heavy artillery units are placed in forward
positions to accomplish counterfire operations and long range harassing
and interdiction fire of hostile mechanized columns.

f. Artillery in support of the GOPL includes the mmlmum personnel

and equipment essential to firing, fire direction, and communications.
The remainder of personnel are utilized to prepare primary, alternate,
and supplementary positions in the battle area. The alternate and supplemen-
tary positions are used to resume antimechanized operations in the event
that displacement is forced from the primary position by mechanized attack.

g. A high degree of coordination is required to ensure the timely

and rapid displacement of artillery and the continuation of adequate
antimechanized fire support for elements under attack in the forward
defense area.

h. Artillery units with nuclear capability are positioned laterally

and in depth to provide the most effective continuous support and are
ideally suited to prevent the enemy's concentrating mechanized forces
against the landing force.

i. Defensive positions are selected which take advantage of natural

defensive features of the terrain and protection afforded by other units
in order to reduce the possibility of being overrun by enemy armor.

j. Separation of artillery positions, consistent with the attainment

of effective fire support, is dictated by the enemy capabilities to de-
liver counterbattery fires and air attacks and to employ nuclear weap-
ons in support of hostile mechanized attacks.

k. Artillery units maintain secrecy in the occupation of the position

insofar as possible. Position areas are organized as completely as
the situation permits. All units prepare their positions for defense
against a direct mechanized attack.

1. If the artillery missions assigned in support of planned counter-

attacks cannot be accomplished from the occupied positions, additional
supplementary or temporary positions must be selected to support the

FMFM 9-3

m. Fires in the counterattack are planned assist in containing

and destroying the hostile mechanized forces and restoring the original
defensive positions.


Field artillery, mortars, and amphibian howitzers, when properly

employed, are very effective against certain types of targets compriSing
a mechanized force. Both nuclear and nonnuclear as well as chemical,
smoke, and illumination fires may be used to engage mechanized
enemy forces. The artillery capability to deliver long range interdiction
fires on likely avenues of approach under all conditions of visibility
enhances its value in the antimechanized defense. The probability of
direct hits on vehicles is low, and large amounts of ammunition must
be expended to destroy individual vehicles. Normally, large quantities
of antitank ammunition are not available, and ordinary high explosive
rounds by indirect fire from light and medium artillery will not seri-
ously damage or destroy medium and heavy tanks. Nevertheless, such
fires serve to separate tanks from supporting infantry and other support
elements and to disrupt, delay, and cause general confusion, particularly
when smoke shells as well as high explosive with mixed fuze types are

a. Indirect Fire. --Artillery employed in the attack of mechanized

forces by indirect fire is best suited to targets such as personnel and
unarmored vehicles. These targets are attacked with high explosive
munitions using air burst and impact fuzes to cause casualties to
personnel, to destroy, and to stop vehicles. They impede movement
of enemy tanks by limiting visibility. The employment of smoke or
WP is coordinated with adjacent units, and consideration is given to
restriction imposed on friendly observation. Indirect fire may be used
to mark targets for attack by close air support.

b. Direct Fire. --Direct fire of light artillery weapons with antitank

ammunition is effective against tanks and armored vehicles. Medium
and heavy artillery can disable most tanks and armored vehicles with
high explosive ammunition using direct fire techniques. Artillery
crews are trained to attack moving as well as stationary vehicles.
Direct fire using time fuzed rounds is effective against unarmored
vehicles and personnel in a mechanized attack and forces armor to
button up. Direct fire technique is generally used as a means of
local pOSition defense against mechanized attack; however, proper em-
I placement to meet a me chanized attack of the landing force may be
I employed in rare instances. When the enemy can observe the crew

I 159
FMFM 9-3

during direct fire, the assault fire techniques may be used. This
technique enables the crew to fire without being observed by the enemy.
Although the assault fire technique provides protection to the crew,
accuracy against moving targets is limited.

c. Fire Mission. --Fire missions assigned to artillery in the anti-

mechanized operation are illustrated in figure 34. They include:

(1) Long range fire against hostile mechanized forces in assem-

bly areas and attack positions.

(2) Long range fires against enemy mechanized forces approaching

the landing force.

(3) Covering gaps between elements of the landing force by fire.

(4) Covering an exposed flank by fire.

(5) Close-in protective fires and barrages against a hostile

mechanized assault.

(6) Sealing the gap created by a mechanized penetration by fire;

i. e., disrupting the continuity of the hostile mechanized attack by
separating enemy armor from its following infantry combat support and
service elements.

(7) Boxing in landing force elements shouldering the flanks of

an enemy mechanized penetration.

(8) Executing containing fires anywhere within the battle area

to block, canalize, and limit the hostile mechanized penetration.

(9) Supporting the striking force in its counterattack with mass

destructive fires in a killing zone.

(10) Engaging hostile mechanized forces by direct fire.

FMFM 9-3

Battalion Strong Point

Blocks Attack, Accepts
-,,~::::UlIIt&....... Temporary Encirclement


Battalion Strong
POints, Artillery

Fires Blocks
and Canalizes

Striking Force Takes

Artillery Planning Provides Offensive Action Utilizing

Fires to Stop, Limit, Destroy, Maximum Fire Support
and Eject the Enemy Penetration. Mobility, and
r.-!l GS
I Shock Action

Figure 34. --Field Artillery Missions in the Conduct of the Mobile


FMFM 9-3



Aviation plays a number of roles in an antimechanized operation.

Aircraft are extremely effective antitank weapons and playa vital role
in the early stages of the amphibious assault and during the buildup of
antimechanized means ashore. They constitute the primary means
available to a landing force to fulfill its long range antimechanized
reconnaissance, surveillance, and attack requirements. This section
discusses the employment of aircraft means available to the landing
force in the antimechanized operation. For a more detailed discussion
of aviation, see FMFM 7-3, Air Support, and FMFM 5-1, Marine Air


In the antimechanized operation the landing force is supported

from the resources /of the amphibious task force (ATF) aviation, in-
cluding the Marine aircraft wing(s) and appropriate force units. The
aviation element is an appropriate task organization in the air-ground
task force (MEU, MEB, MEF, or MEC). Its composition is tailored
to the conduct of tactical air operations against a mechanized enemy.
It includes combat units, combat support units (control agencies), and
combat service support units. Aircraft provide the capability to deliver
a variety of weapons against mechanized targets. Principal among
these are the following:

a. General Purpose Bombs. --General purpose, low drag bombs are

available ranging in size from 250 to 2,000 pounds and are specifically
designed for high performance aircraft. The problem of getting a
direct hit on a maneuvering tank with such a bomb is considerable.
These bombs are most effective against hostile mechanized targets when
blast damage is desired to disorient the attackers, knockoff tracks,
roll vehicles over and cause personnel casualties.

b. Fire Bomb;:. --The fire bombs most often used are those con-
taining napalm. The napalm bomb produces an intensely hot flame
covering the target with a pattern from 27 to 45 meters wide and 45
to 90 meters long. The flame burns for apprOximately 1 minute and
is effective against tanks and other vehicles. Maximum effect is achieved
by dropping bombs at a low altitude in a very low angle attack to
spread the burning napalm over a large area. Details of other fire

FMFM 9-3

(incendiary) bombs which may be employed in antimechanized opera-

tions are contained in NWIP 20-1, Naval Weapons Selection-Aircraft.

c. Aircraft Rockets. --Rockets can be delivered with greater accu-

racy than general purpose bombs and are well suited for use against
individual mechanized vehicles. This weapon can be assembled with
selective explosive heads for employment in various situations and
against various types of mechanized targets. The high explosive anti-
tank (HEAT) warhead is specifically designed for use against armor.
Rockets can also be equipped with an illuminating flarehead for use in
night close air support misSions, for illumination of hostile mechanized
columns, and for friendly troop~ operation.

d. Guided Missiles. --Aircraft are capable of delivering air-to-

surface missiles in close support of ground forces. These missiles are
effective against tank type targets. They are designed with a simple
radio control guidance system and are very accurate. Good visibility
and high or unlimited cloud ceilings are usually required for optimum
effectiveness in the use of these weapons aganist enemy mechanized

e. Chemical Tank. --Nerve agents--GB, HD, and VX--may be dis-

seminated by chemical spray devices mounted on aircraft. A toxic
chemical agent spray mission is most effective when released simul-
taneously by a number of aircraft flying at the most desirable altitude
to achieve optimum coverage. Smoke screens may be dispensed by
aircraft with a high degree of accuracy and reliability to delay and
disorient enemy mechanized movement or to cover friendly cO'UIlter-
action. Under normal conditions a smoke screen approximately 400
meters long by 80 meters high and a persistency of 10 minutes can
be provided by one aircraft.


Aircraft supporting the antimechanized operation possess the

following capabilities:

a. Superior Observation. --Aircraft are vital to the landing force

antimechanized warning system. They are capable of maintaining
continuous observation over large areas and of reporting progress and
maneuver of mechanized forces. This observation is relatively unre-
stricted in range and is not greatly affected by variations in terrain.

FMFM 9-3

b. Attack of Defiladed Targets. --Aircraft can strike hostile mech-

anized attack pOSitions and assembly areas that are masked from artil-
lery and naval gunfire. Attacks may be made from any direction.

c. Speed and Maneuverability. --The high speed of support aircraft

enables them to concentrate rapidly aganist approaching mechanized
formations and to deliver attacks with a great measure of surprise.
Hostile mechanized forces are generally unable to disperse for con-
cealment and cover from air attack.

d. Destruction and Shock Effect. --Aircraft are extremely effective

in the direct attack of mechanized targets. They can deliver heavy
concentrations of firepower that will disrupt and defeat a mechanized
attack. They are capable of delivering effective antitank ordnance to
destroy disabled tanks and other weapons that are capable of neutralizing
the armored and unarmored vehicles in a mechanized formation. Per-
sonnel casualty effect for air delivered ordnance is particularly im-

e. Area Neutralization. --Because of the ability of support aircraft

to operate in dispersed formations with great speed and a wide variety
of weapons, they are capable of neutralizing large areas for limited
periods of time and thereby retarding enemy movement of mechanized

f. Accuracy. --Rocket attacks may be delivered with great accuracy

against mechanized targets that are well defined. attacks,
although somewhat less accurate, may be used effectively against well
defined mechanized targets. Minimum altitude attacks such as those
normally employed in the delivery of napalm are particularly accurate
and effective against both stationary and moving mechanized targets.

g. Long Range. --Support aircraft can operate from bases located

at a considerable distance from the landing force'S objectives and
carry out attacks on enemy mechanized concentrations beyond the range
of other supporting arms.

h. Mobility and Flexibility. --The character of supporting air units

permits the use of small flights of aircraft against individual targets
or large groups of aircraft against mechanized targets of great extent
or importance. The variety of armament that aircraft are capable of
carrying permits flexibility of armament selection.


FMFM 9-3


Aircraft supporting the antimechanizedoperation have the fol-

lowing limitations:

a. Weather and Visibility. --Inclement weather may restrict aircraft

operations making the location and attack of mechanized forces more
difficult. 'Weather may also limit the types of attacks that may be

b. Aircraft Endurance. --Fuel capacity and the distance to the target

affect the amount of time that aircraft may remain on station for
neutralization of areas, observation, or search and attack operations.

c. Ammunition Capability. --Aircraft return to base for rearming

after two or three rocket or bombing attacks. Selective ordnance for
antimechanized operations is not always available. Consequently, this
requires employment of less effective means.

d. Communications. --The effectiveness of all air support is influ-

enced by the efficiency of voice radio nets in air-to-air and air-to-
ground communications. Antimechanized warnings and information of
enemy mechanized movements and concentration must be relayed
through air support agencies.

e. Aerial Identification of Targets and Frontlines. --The difficulty

of identifying well concealed and camouflaged hostile mechanized forces
and frontlines from high-speed aircraft can delay the delivery of attacks
and can produce inaccurate results.

f. Ordnance Dispersal Patterns. --Multiple aircraft attacks generally

have a larger impact pattern than single aircraft attacks. Since the
attack of mechanized targets is along the axis of the vehicles, close
control and precise adjustment are required for missions near friendly
troops and can prolong the time necessary to accomplish the attack.
These patterns may require employment of less effective techniques in
order to provide for adequate troop safety.

g. Direction of attack. --Aerial attacks are more accurate in de-

flection than in range. Consequently, close support attacks are made
parallel to friendly frontlines whenever possible. This restriction may
limit the effectiveness of antimechanized attack on targets close to the

FMFM 9-3

h. Space-Time Restrictions. --Under optimum conditions of terrain

and configuration of frontlines, it is possible to execute no more than
. t
two simultaneous aerial attacks over a mile of troop frontage. The
interval of time between a troop unit's request for air support and the
delivery of the support attack is a critical factor when engaging mech-
anized targets. The coordination of the air mission with the maneuver
and supporting fires of the troops, the briefing of the pilots, and the
location of the target by the flight leader is a time consuming process.
Therefore, the element comprising the greatest hostile mechanized
threat is generally the primary target of air support in antimechanized


Air support is defined as all means of support given by air

forces to forces on land and sea. In Marine Corps aviation this con-
sists of support given .by attack and fighter aircraft and helicopter
transport. . It also includes fixed -wing transport, re connaissance and
observation support, and the air control and surveillance means em-

a. Tactical Air Support. --Tactical air support consists of those

operations carried out in coordination with surface forces which direct-
ly assist the land or naval battle. Tactical air support may be further
categorized as:

(1) Close Air Support. --Close air support is air action against
enemy mechanized forces and other hostile targets which are in close
proximity to friendly forces and which require detailed integration of
each air mission with the fire and movement of these forces.

(2) Deep Air Support. --Deep air support is air action conducted
at such a distance from friendly forces that detailed integration of each
air mission with the fire and movement of these forces is not required.

b. StrategiC Air Support. - -Strategic air warfare is designed to

strike directly at the enemy's warmaking capacity. It is not a direct
factor in the conduct of the antimechanized operation and is not dis-
cussed in this manual.


The first mission of aircraft in the antimechanized operation

is accomplished when they provide complete control of the skies.

FMFM 9-3 .

Friendly aviation separates the hostile mechanized forces from the

support of their own aircraft and ensures adequate cover and protection
to the landing force's antimechanized operations. Aircraft provide
continuous, close, and deep searches to locate and report hostile mech-
anized elements and their movements and engage hostile mechanized
elements whenever and wherever they appear. Such missions commence
deep in enemy territory and continue until the hostile mechanized force
is destroyed. Aircraft assigned such missions are armed with the
most effective AT ordnance available. Specific missions which may be
assigned to aviation units in the antimechanized operation include:

a. Area Denial. - -Attack and fighter aircraft are employed to isolate

the objective area from hostile mechanized forces and to disrupt their
communication and logistic support.

b. Support of the Assault. --Aircraft support the amphibious assault

with nuclear and nonnuclear fires.

c. Striking Force Cover. --Aircraft support the employment of the

striking force by fire and observation.

d. Killing Zone Fires. --Fires of supporting aircraft are closely

coordinated into the overall fire plan for the counterattack and for
fires in the designated killing zones.

e. Pursuit. --Aircraft are employed to pursue disorganized and

fleeing hostile mechanized units by fire in order to destroy damaged
vehicles and to discourage future mechanized attacks.

f. Vertical Lift. --Helicopters provide mobility to antimechanized

elements of the striking force in countering the mobility of hostile
mechanized forces.

g. Close Protective Support. --Aircraft provide close support of all

elements of the landing force and particularly to landing force units
cut off by an enemy armor penetration which are shouldering the gap.

h. Logistic Support. --Aircraft can be used to provide logistic

resupply for units on the extended mechanized battlefield. Additionally,
aircraft are employed to repOSition antimechanized forces and to with-
draw or evacuate threatened or mauled units.


FMFM 9-3



Naval gunfire supports the antimechanized operation in the early

stages of the amphibious assault and as long thereafter as any enemy
mechanized targets are within range. These operations are particularly
vital at the outset of the operation when the landing force is without
its organiC field artillery. During this period naval gunfire means
possess the capability to deliver tank-killing direct and indirect fires
on enemy mechanized forces. This section discusses the naval gun-
fire support means, their capabilities and limitations, and their em-
ployment against hostile mechanized forces. For a more detailed
discussion of naval gunfire support see FMFM 7-2, Naval Gunfire


Naval gunfire possesses the following capabilities in the anti-

mechanized operation:

a. Direct Fire Means. --Naval gunfire support provides direct fire

guns in a wide variety of calibers. The 3-inch guns are effective
against unarmored vehicles, but a 5-inch or greater caliber is required
to destroy tanks and other armored vehicles.

b. Ammunition. --The different types of projectiles, charges, and

fuzes provided within each caliber permit selection of specific armor
piercing and antitank munitions to kill tanks.

c. Rates of Fire. --The relatively high rate of fire of which the

naval gun is capable permits rapid concentration of large volumes of
tank-killing fires against mechanized forces.

dHigh Initial Velocity. --The high initial velocity of the naval gun
prOjectile makes it suitable for the penetration and destruction of
mechanized targets.

e. Flat Trajectory. --The relative flat trajectory of the naval gun

projectile enhances accuracy and increases effectiveness in the direct
engagement of mechanized targets.

FMFM 9-3

f. Deflection Pattern. --The normal projectile pattern of the naval

gun is narrow in deflection and long in range. Very close supporting
fire can be delivered when the line of fire is parallel to the front
lines. This pattern permits especially effective coverage of mechanized
targets moving along roads and restricted avenues of approach when
the ship can maneuver to fire down the long axis.

g. Fire Control Equipment. - - Fire control equipment permits accurate

fire whether or not the ship and the target are moving.

h. Mobility. --Within the limits imposed by hydrographic conditions,

the firing ship may be positioned for best support of the landing force
and also maneuver against a mechanized enemy.

i. Ammunition Capacity and Replacement. --Provision is usually

made for fire support ships to replenish ammunition without leaving
the objective area, thus permitting their quick return to action.


Naval gunfire possesses the following limitations in the anti-

mechanized operation:

a. Flat Trajectory. --The flat trajectory renders the delivery of

fire on defiladed targets difficult.

b. Communications. - -All communications with shore agencies or

air spot must be conducted by radio and/or visual means.

c. Fixing Ship's Position. --The difficulty of determining the exact

position of the ship under adverse navigating conditions may result in
inaccuracies of the initial salvo of indirect fire.

d. Changing Gun-Target Line. --When the ship is firing while under-

way, the line of fire may change relative to the frontlines, and the
range pattern of the naval gun is comparatively long. When firing over
friendly frontlines, greater safety limitations are required than when
firing parallel to the front.

e. Effect of Hydrography. --Unfavorable hydrographic conditions such.

as shallow waters, reefs, shoals, etc., may force the ship'to take an
undesirable position and prohibit required maneuver to engage mech-
anized targets.


FMFM 9-3

f. Effect of Weather and Visibility. --Since naval gunfire must be

observed for maximum effectiveness, unfavorable weather can have
an adverse effect on the delivery of naval gunfire support.

g. Magazine Capacity. --Ammunition available for naval gunfire

support is limited by fixed magazine capacities and the necessity for
retaining a reserve on board for protection against enemy air or
surface attack.

h. Effects of Enemy Air or Naval Attack. --Action of enemy air

or naval forces can cause a reduction or complete discontinuation of
naval gunfire support by requiring the fire support ships to engage
this threat.


The tactical uses of naval gunfire in support of antimechanized

operations include:

a. Close Supporting Fires. --Close supporting fires are delivered

on mechanized targets in close proximity to friendly forces and re-
quire detailed integration with the movement of supported units and
positive control by naval gunfire spotters or other landing force

b. Deep Supporting Fires. --Deep supporting fires are delivered to

neutralize or destroy enemy mechanized reserves and long range weap-
0ns and to interdict enemy command, communication, supply, and
other support facilities not in the immediate vicinity of friendly forces.
Naval gunfire employment is coordinated with other antimechanized
fires; however, positive control by NGF spotters is not necessary
since no threat exists to friendly troops in employing deep supporting

c. Call Fire. --Call fire is planned on a specific mechanized

target and i~ delivered in response to a request from the supported

d. Opportunity Fires. --Opportunity fires are delivered on newly

discovered mechanized targets or targets of a transient nature. Enemy
mechanized means are normally taken under fire when discovered
within range.

FMFM 9-3

e. Prearranged Fires. --Prearranged fires are delivered on known

or suspected mechanized targets on a scheduled time or on call basis.
Antimechanized programs of fire to support barrier plans are pre-
arranged as a part of the overall requirement of defensive fire support.


The following types of fire support are provided by naval gunfire


a. Area Fire. - -Area fire is a volume of fire suited to delivery

into a prescribed antimechanized area. In the antimechanized oper-
ation it is generally used as a neutralization fire to restrict or canalize
mechanized traffic into deSignated killing zones and to neutralize likely
enemy mechanized assembly areas and forward pOSitions.

b. Precision Fire. --Precision fire is suited for registration and

for attack and destruction of individual tanks, mechanized vehicles,
and control facilities; i. e., overlooking guns and OPs.
c. Defilade or Reverse Slope Fire. - -Defilade or reverse slope fire is
suited for use against me chanized assembly areas and attack pOSitions
located on the reverse slope of a hill or behind a ridge. Due to the flat
trajectory of high velocity naval projectiles, the hill or ridge can mask a
mechanized target necessitating opening the range and/or the use of re-
duced charges. This provides a trajectory capable of delivering fires on
such defiladed targets.
d. Enfilade Fire. - -Enfilade fire is suited to delivery on a target
when it is possible to position the ship so that the range dispersion
pattern of naval gunfire is generally aligned with the long axis of a
mechanized concentration.


The beachhead and the area of operations adjacent to it are

divided, as required, into naval gunfire zones of responsibility based
on consideration of range capability, tactical miSSion, and gunfire
ships available. Fire support ship(s) are aSSigned zones of responsi-
bility and are responsible for destroying or neutralizing known enemy
installations and for attacking targets of opportunity in their zones.
The size and shape of the zone of responsibility will depend upon the
factors described in the following subparagraphs:

FMFM 9-3

a. Boundaries. --In order to permit ready identification by the

spotter and/or fire support ship, the boundaries of the zone of responsi-
bility must be recognizable both on the terrain and on the chart.

b. Size. --The size of each zone should be such that the fire sup-
port ship(s) assigned to observe and/or destroy targets will be able
to accomplish the mission in the time allotted

c. Zones of Action. - -The boundaries of zones of responsibility of

direct support ships should correspond to the boundaries of the zones
of action of the landing force units supported.

d Accessibility to Fire. --The zone of responsibility must be within

range of the fire support ship(s) assigned to the zone.


Prior to and during the landing and buildup of the landing force
antimechanized means ashore, naval gunfire provides the bulk of sur-
face antimechanized fire support to the landing force. Subsequent to
the landing, it provides area neutralizing fires to restrict any hostile
mechanized movement in the objective area and destructive fires
against individual mechanized targets in known enemy assembly areas
and attack positions.

a. By virtue of its rapid rate of direct fire, high velocity destruc-

tive firepower, and ability to attack moving targets, naval gunfire is
effective against armored attacks within range. Naval gunfire is par-
ticularly valuable for delivering direct fire to the flanks of the landing
areas beyond the range of organic landing force direct fire weapons.
Concentrations are planned to include expected routes of approach,
assembly areas, and attack positions. VT (variable time) fuzed pro-
jectiles can be mixed with PD (point detonating) fuzed projectiles to
force tanks to button up and to destroy accompanying infantry. Smoke
(wp) can be used to inflict casualties on accompanying troops and to
slow up and disrupt the armor units. Armor piercing (AP) rounds
fired from 6-inch and larger caliber naval guns are capable of destroy-
ing enemy tanks.

b. Naval gunfire is employed to provide close in protective fire

against hostile armor elements assaulting the beachhead positions and
in deSignated killing zones. During the landing, fire support ships
continuously observe their assigned sectors for evidence of hostile
mechanized activity. When mechanized movements are Sighted ships

FMFM 9-3

attack the targets using air spotting procedures when available. Plans
specify that, ships render a complete flash report on armor sighted
using appropriate radio nets. After evaluation of the target informa-
tion the amphibious task force (ATF) commander assigns the additional
fire support ships or aircraft ne cessary to engage the targets. In
addition to attacking enemy mechanized forces, fire support ships
attack all installations capable of supporting such forces. In the effort
to isolate the beachhead naval gunfire executes such missions as des-
troying bridges and blocking defiles.

~ 173
FMFM 9-3



A sizable portion of the potential combat power of the landing

force lies in its organic nuclear support capability and in the addition-
al nuclear support available from higher headquarters. The combat
power of nuclear weapons and the great ranges at which they must
be employed permit them to fulfill the basic criteria for antimechanized
operations; i. e., to obliterate the enemy's tanks and mechanized forces
before they can attack the landing force. This section discusses the
types of nuclear fires available to the landing force and their employ-
ment in antimechanized operations. For additional discussion of nu-
clear warfare refer to FMFM 11-1, NBC Operations in the Fleet Marine
Force, and other appropriate manuals in the FMFM 11 series (to be


In the antimechanized operation nuclear weapons may be employ-

ed to carry out the follOwing missions:

a. To reduce enemy forces by pre landing destructive fires.

b. To attack hostile mechanized assembly areas inland from the

landing force objectives.

c. To disrupt hostile communication and transportation means.

d. To attack enemy mechanized forces concentrated to launch an

assault against landing force elements ashore.

e. To fire protective concentrations against attacking mechanized


f. To cover gaps between widely deployed units.

g. To cover exposed flanks.

h. To destroy contained hostile mechanized forces in killing zones.

i. To create obstacles that restrict the maneuver of hostile mech-

anized forces.

FMFM 9-3


Nuclear fires, like nonuclear fires, are classified as scheduled,

on call, or fires on targets of opportunity. The fleeting nature of
mechanized targets in the antimechanized operation necessitates an
acceleration of the nuclear planning and decision making process and
places special emphasis upon on call and target of opportunity fires.

a. Scheduled Fires. --The frequency with which scheduled fires

are used in antimechanized operations may be limited by the availa-
bility of intelligence concerning hostile mechanized targets and the
rapid movement of such forces. Targets selected for scheduled nu-
clear fires are kept under constant surveillance to ensure necessary
adjustment of cancellation of the fires in case the target moves or
otherwise changes its vulnerability. Scheduled nuclear fires are in-
cluded in the nuclear fire plan. Priorities for antimechanized fire
are assigned according to their relative importance to the accomplish-
ment of the antimechanized operation.

b. On Call Fires. --The nuclear target analysis and weapon delivery

data, exclusive of employment time, are calculated for antimechanized
on call fires and included in the nuclear fire plan as appropriate. The
number of planned antimechanized targets is limited by the availability
of time and personnel. The on call fires are planned for areas where
mechanized forces are likely to develop in stength. To the degree
possible, plans are made to use multiple types of delivery means. It
is often possible to obtain on call nuclear fires within a very short time
after they have been requested and approved. Minor changes in dis-
tance or direction can usually be made with little loss in time, pro-
vided the same planned delivery means are used; however, major
changes can cause a considerable delay.

c. Targets of Opportunity. --Targets of opportunity are analyzed,

and the employment data is calculated as rapidly as possible consis-
tent with the need for accuracy and the time available. Unconfirmed
targets are not attacked by nuclear fire. In planning nuclear fires on
targets of opportunity, the most rapid means of delivery consistent
with troop safety and obtaining satisfactory results are generally em-
ployed Nonnuclear fires may be used to fix fleeting antimechanized
targets until nuclear fires can be employed. Difficulties and delays
in attacking targets of opportunity highlight the need for adequate
target information and careful planning of on call fires for antimech-
anized operations.

FMFM 9-3


In determining what nuclear weapons to employ, the commander

considers the number, type, and characteristics of the warheads avail-
able, delivery means available, extent of damage desired, troop safety
requirements, characteristics of the target, and means available to
exploit the effect.

a. The number and type of warheads available are detemined and

allocated by higher headquarters. This does not preclude requests
for specific weapons not included in such allocations. From the weap-
ons available, the commander exploits the various capacities of avail-
able warheads by proper target analysis, selectivity in the choice of
targets, and maximum exploitation of the weapon effects.

b. Air delivery of a nuclear weapon permits a greater range and

wider choice of weapons. Air is used when the hostile mechanized
force is beyond the range of ground delivery units or when ground
delivery means within range of the target are indequate because of
yield or other limitations.

c. The extent of damage required to destroy hostile mechanized

forces is determined by the commander who plans or requests the
fire. To establish the amount of damage desired, he considers his
overall miSSion, the enemy situation (to include his state of combat
training and his defenses af1:ainst nuclear weapons), the terrain and
the weather, and the safety of his troops. His decision constitutes
the baSis for weapons planning. Total destruction of hostile mech-
anized means may not always be feasible since other tactical consider-
ations affect the commander's decision.

d. Troop safety is a prime consideration in selecting nuclear weap-

ons. Commanders determine the safety criteria desired and inform
nuclear weapons employment officers and operational planners. Com-
manders must approve any deviation from this safety criteria.

e. The mobility and armor of a mechanized target can be the

deciding factor as to how to attack it. Intelligence proceSSing of
target information and confirmation reports concerning enemy mech-
anized targets are expedited.

f. Both large and small yield nuclear weapons are considered for
attacking mechanized targets. A large yield weapon tends to increase
the problems of troop safety and coordination with adjacent and

FMFM 9-3

supporting units. On the other hand, it provides greater coverage of

a particular area than do several smaller weapons, and its size may
compensate for errors in delivery and intelligence.

g. A linear target (mechanized column) generally is less vulnerable

to a nuclear strike than a circular target (mechanized assembly area).
Several small yield weapons delivered on line are generally superior
to one or several large yield weapons for attack of a linear target.


The type of burst (subsurface, surface, or air) selected for

attack of hostile mechanized means requires one that exploits maximum
casualties or damage to the target consistent with the miSSion, troop
safety, and schemes of maneuver.

a. Air Burst. --The air burst exploits the maximum of all effects
except residual radiation.

b. Surface Burst. --The surface burst limits blast effect since a

great deal of the energy goes into forming a crater. Thermal effect
will be slowed and reduced in range, and gamma radiation will be
partially absorbed. A large area is normally contaminated by radio-
active material.

c. Subsurface Burst. --When it is desired to deny the enemy mech-

anized forces an area that will not be used by friendly forces, a sur-
face or subsurface burst may be used to contaminate it with residual
radiation and to form a crater. This may be particularly useful in
areas where routes for movement are few or pass through defiles.
Wind velocity and direction with respect to the location of friendly
forces are critical to a decision to employ a surface or subsurface


The atomic demolition munition (ADM) provides an explosive

capability contained in a relatively small package equivalent to many
tons of conventional explosives. This capability may be used to de-
molish natural or manmade features or to create obstacles. Types
of burst other than surface burst may make use of existing structures
or require preparation of platforms or excavations.

FMFM 9-3

a.Employment. --Instructions relative to the employment of atomic

demolition munitions (ADM) are provided when they are to be employed.
ADMs may be employed effectively to create barriers and are particu-
larly useful in effecting denial to the enemy of strategic areas by con-
tamination or by creating obstacles. The atomic demolition plan may
be issued as an annex to the barrier plan or denial plan or as a part
of the fire support annex appendix in the operation plan.

b. Tactical Uses. --Atomic demolitions have tactical significance

in an antimechanized operation as a nuclear weapon or as a demolition

(1) Amphibious Assault. --ADM may be tactically employed to

protect a flank; i. e., create a landside, crater, or an obstacle in
the form of tree blowdown or rubble that precludes an enemy penetra-
tion and that can disrupt vehicular traffic ability. The ADM may also
be utilized to obstruct a withdrawing mechanized force so that it can
be destroyed by the landing force antimechanized resources.

(2) Area and/or Mobile Defense. --In defensive operations ADM

may be employed to achieve the following:

(a) Block constructed avenues of approach.

(b) Sever lateral routes of communication that may be

utilized by hostile armor forward of friendly positions by clandestine

(c) Canalize the enemy mechanized means.

(d) Inhibit enemy mechanized movement.

(e) Demolish key tactical targets affecting antimechanized


c. Tactical Characteristics. --ADM is characterized by the follow-

ing tactical characteristics:

(1) There is no delivery error. The ADM is emplaced exactly.

This allows use of minimum yields to accomplish the assigned mission.

(2) Target acquisition for ADM present no significant problem.

Targets such as prominent terrain features or manmade installations

FMFM 9-3

are determined easily and do not move. The emplacement site may
be selected as part of the plan of maneuver. If the ADM is not fired,
it can be recovered

(3) The method of ADM delivery is flexible depending on the

type ADM used and the location of the target. Transport can be
accomplished by armored personnel carrier (LVT) , helicopter (either
internally or externally), truck, or manpack.

(4) Its mass destruction capability permits the ADM to do jobs

not practicable with conventional explosives. Since less time and lo-
gistical effort are required, it is suited for employment in the amphi-
bious assault. It has the capability of moving quantities of earth not
previously possible. Missions such as blocking major passes and
destroying major installations can normally be accomplished in the
time available in most tactical situations. It can also be employed to
destroy targets or items that cannot be attacked by other nuclear

(5) Generally the employment of ADMs requires that the imme-

diate area of an ADM emplacement be under friendly control for the
time required to emplace and assemble the components. Provision
must be made to protect an emplaced ADM from the time of emplace-
ment until the time of detonation. An ADM normally requires a maxi-
mum of 2 hours to emplace and prepare for firing if the emplacement
site is in friendly held terrain. The munitiori normally can be fired
within 5 minutes or less after the tactical commander makes the de-
cision to fire and the necessary warnings and troop safety are effected.
The number of successive rounds that may be fired is limited by the
available engineering effort. An engineering squad supplemented with
technically qualified atomic ordnance personnel is the smallest size
unit capable of performing an ADM mission.

(6) The demolition of antimechanized targets can be accomplish-

ed quickly and effectively with an ADM, whereas use of conventional
explosives consumes considerable manpower and time.

FMFM 9-3


Chemical agents may be employed effectively against hostile

mechanized forces. This section presents the chemical agents avail-
able to the landing force, and discusses their capabilities and tactical
employment. For additional discussion see FMFM 11-1, NBC Oper-
ations in the Fleet Marine Force, and other appropriate manuals in
the FMFM 11 series (to be approved).


Standard toxic chemical agents of value against a hostile mech-

anized attack include:

a. Nerve Agent GB. --The nerve agent GB is a quick acting chem-

ical agent that, in liquid or vapor form, produces casualties ranging
from incapacitation to death by paralyzing respiratory muscles of exposed
personnel. Inhalation of GB vapors can cause casualties within minutes.

Contact of GB liquid with the skin can also cause casualties quickly .

b. Nerve Agent VX. --In liquied forms, the nerve agent VX is a

delayed acting chemical agent that produces physiological effects
similar to those produced by GB. In aerosol form, VX can cause
casualties quickly.

c. Blister Agent HD. --The blister agent HD is a delayed acting

chemical agent that in liquid or vapor form produces casualties among
exposed personnel by its blistering action on the eyes, skin, or parts
of the respiratory system. Initial symptoms of HD exposure to the
skin and lungs usually appear in 4 to 6 hours; eyes may be affected
within minutes.


Chemical munition capabilities and delivery systems available

to the landing force are illustrated in figure 35. Chemical agents are
dispersed by means of bursting, thermal, and aerial spray type muni-

a. Bursting Type Munitions. --Bursting type munitions include

cannon and mortar projectiles, rockets, bombs and bomblets, grenades, I

FMFM 9-3

(Meters) Dia. (Meters)
DeUvery Fuse Time lor Rate of Fire Height of Impact Area
Agent (Capability) Delivery Organization Per Weapon Of Burst
System (single rd)
Line Munition Max. Min.

Shell, M2Al lID 4.2-inch Mortar 3,930 180 M8PD 6 Morl/Btry 30 ~s/Z min GND 16

IOS-mm Howitzer, M2Al, 6 How/Btry 6 Rds/I/2 min

Shell, M360 GS 11,140 862 M508PD 1-3 min 18 Rds/4 min GND 27
M2A2. M4, M4A2, M52

IOS-mm Howitzer, M2Al. 6 Rds/l/2 min

Shell, M60 lID M2A2, M4, M4A2, M52
11,140 M51A5PD 1-3 min 6 How/Btry GND 11
18 Rds/4 min

ISS-mm Howitzer. M1, 3 Rds/l/2 min

Shell, M121 GS 14,950 M508PD I-Smin 6 How/Btry GND 49
MIA!, M44 12 Rds/4 min

ISS-mm Howitzer, Ml 3Rds/l/2 min

Shell, MIlO lID 14,950 M51A5PD l-Smin 6 How/Btry GND 20
MIA!, M44 12 Rds/4 min

ISS-mm Howitzer, Ml 3Rds/l/2 min

Shell, T(M121) Vx MIAI, M44
14,950 T76ESVT* I-Smin 6 How/Btry 20m
12 Rds/4 min

2 Rds/I/2 min
Shell, M122 GS ISS-mm Gun, M2, M53 23,500 M508PD i-Smin 6 Gun/Btry 8 Rds/4 min GND 49

Shell, MI04 6 Gun/Btry 2 Rds/I/2 min GND

lID ISS-mm Gun, M2, M53 M51A5PD I-Smin 22
8 Rds/4 min

8-hH'h Hov:itzer. M2 6 Rds/4 min GND

Shell, T174 GS 16,930 M51A5PD 1/2-6 hr 6 How/Btry 76
M2Al, M55 10 Rds/IO min

a-inch Howitzer, M2, T2061VT 6 Rds/4 min

10 Shell, T174 vx 16,930 1/2-6 hr 6 How/Btry 20m
M2Al, M55 10 Rds/IO min

11 Projectile, 5"54, GS 16,450 GND

5-illCh Gun MK29MOD3PD

Projectile, 5"38, GS GND

12 5-inch Gun 19,200 MK30MOD3PD 40
MK53, MOD 0

Warhead, Rocket, 5" Launcher, MKI05, 48/Rkt/

Rocket, M40, MOD 0 Lchr/l min

I. Warhead, Rocket, 5"

Launcher, MKI05,
Rocket, M40, MOD 0
4,ZOO MK30MOD3PD 48/Rkt/
Lchr/I min GND

Bomb, MK44, GS Rang"e of
15 Fighter, bomber Ml958D GND 90
MODO aircraft (IMPACT)

16 80mb, MlOAI Range of AN-MlS8ND GND 29

lID Fighter. bomber
aircraft (IMPACT)

Spray Tank Fighter, bomber Ran(::"e of
Aero 14 ---------
GS aircraft

Figure 35. - -Chemical Munitions and Delivery Systems.

and land mines. They may be fused to detonate by ground or air

b. Thermal Type Munitions and Devices. --Thermal type munitions
and devices employ heat to disseminate chemical agents. They include
grenades and generators.
c. Aerial Spray Type Delivery System. - -Aerial spray type delivery
systems may be used to disseminate large quantities of chemical
agents over target areas employed by hostile mechanized forces. Spray
tanks mounted on aircraft can disseminate chemical agents as liquid
droplets or micropulverized particles. The drop-sized distribution of
the particles varies with the physical properties of the agent, the

FMFM 9-3

aircraft speed, and the design of the spray device and nozzle used.
The effectiveness of spray tanks is influenced by the release altitude
of the chemical agent and by wind velocity and direction.


Principal factors limiting the employment of chemical agents

are the method and speed of dissemination, the weather, the terrain
in the target area, the protection available to hostile mechanized forces,
and the state of training amd materiel readiness of enemy troops.

a. Method of Dissemination. - -Chemical agents may be disseminated

in bursting type munitions or spray devices.

(1) Bursting Type. --When chemical filled projectiles burst, the

liquid chemical agent filling is dispersed in all directions. As the
cloud travels downwind, it loses its effectiveness because of dilution
by the air. Such munitions should be placed directly windward of
mechanized gargets.

(2) Spray Devices. --Spray resulting from aircraft disseminated

chemical agents covers a large area downward so that accuracy in
employment against rapidly moving targets is not as vital as in the
case of bursting type munitions.

b. Temperature. --High temperatures increase the rate of evapora-

tion of liquid toxic chemical agents, whereas low temperatures decrease
the rate.

c. Temperature Gradient. --Vertical variations in temperature

affect air stability which, in turn, affects the formation of vertical
air currents.

d. Wind Speed and Direction. --High wind speed increases the rate
of evaporation of liquid chemical agents and quickly diSSipates chemical
clouds. Large area nonperSistent chemical attacks can best be made
if the wind speed is not over 17 knots.

e. Humidity and Precipitation. --High humidity coupled with high

temperature increases the effectiveness of blister agent HD but does
not increase the effectiveness of nerve agent GB. Heavy or lasting
rains wash away liquid chemical agent contamination but may not nec-
essarily destroy the agent. Snow reduces the rate of evaporation of
liquid chemical agents.

FMFM 9-3

f. Terrain. - - Under stable conditions chemical agent clouds tend

to flow over rolling terrain and down valleys. Dangerous concentrations
may persist in hollows and low ground depressions. Chemical agents
tend to go around obstacles such as hills. Rough ground, including
ground covered with tall grass or brush, retards the movement of
chemical clouds. Flat country promotes an even, steady movement.



Nonpersistent chemical attacks may be made against targets

occupied by hostile mechanized forces, or they may be made to in-
crease the effectiveness of other supporting fires. They are most
effective when made to circumvent the enemy's protection against
conventional high explosive munitions. A nonpersistent chemical
attack is especially useful when a nuclear attack against a close -in
target would create obstacles to friendly troop maneuver or create
friendly troop safety problems.

a. Amphibious Assault. --Nonpersistent chemical attacks are made

against targets occupied by enemy troops. They are normally integrated
into preparatory fires against known or suspected hostile mechanized
targets. GB may be used to:

(1) Produce casualties among hostile mechanized forces in the

lan~ngarea and assist the landing force in establishing the beachhead.
GB may also be employed against hostile mechanized reserves.

(2) Produce casualties in occupied targets or in those areas

suspected of being occupied by enemy troops prior to the attack.

(3) Deliberately harass enemy troops by intermittent chemical

fires maintained over long periods of time.

(4) Mislead the enemy as to the landing forces intentions by

conducting chemical attacks in areas other than the designated landing

b. Antimechanized Defense. --Nonpersistent chemical attacks may

be made against enemy mechanized forces concentrating for the attack
to support landing force elements along the FEBA or to assist the.
counterattack or striking force. GB may be used:

FMFM 9-3

(1) On hostile mechanized targets and target areas in front of

the FEBA prior to the time the enemy attack develops. Profitable
targets include known or suspected hostile mechanized concentrations,
reserves, assembly areas, -attack positions, command posts, and artil-
lery positions.

(2) At night against known or suspected hostile mechanized

concentrations and along principal avenues of mechanized approach to
the landing force's poSitions in order to produce casualties in the tar-
get area and to h3.rass extensive areas downwind



Persistent chemical attacks can be made against targets occupied

or unoccupied by enemy troops. Under favorable weather conditions a
persistent chemical attack can produce delayed casualties among masked
enemy troops.

a. Amphibious Assault. --Persistent chemical attacks may be made

on target areas which the landing force does not intend to enter imme-
diately because the resulting contamination restricts the maneuver of
assault units. HD or VX may be used to help protect the flanks of the
landing force. Persistent chemical attacks are especially effective
against enemy reserves and may be conducted in depth inland along
principal avenues of hostile mechanized approach to delay hostile mech-
anized forces deployed in depth from reinforcing the landing area.

b. Antimechanized Defense. --Persistent chemical attacks may be

made to contaminate terrain that is important to the hostile mechanized
force'S scheme of maneuver such as avenues of approach, assembly
areas, attack poSitions, observation points, and positions for over-
watching antitank guns. Persistent chemical attacks have special de-
fensive value since contamination established before the enemy attack
may remain effective throughout the attack. Persistent chemical
attacks contaminate critical targets which have been damaged by high
explosives or nuclear weapons, thereby delaying repairs. Persistent
chemical attacks may be used to canalize hostile me chanized attacks
along avenues of approach favorable to the landing force and to compel
the enemy to move into areas that facilitate friendly counterattack.
Persistent chemical attacks may also be used to cover gaps between
landing force elements and to protect flanks, especially when the land-
ing force is deployed over wide frontages.

FMFM 9-3


41001. GENERAL

In an antimechanized operation the landing force employs smoke

to screen its own movements and to blind, confuse, and delay the
enemy's mechanized forces. This section discusses the types of smoke
available to the landing force, their uses, characteristics, and tactical
employment. For more detailed information concerning the employ-
ment of smoke, see FM 3-5, Chemical, Biological, and Radiological
(CBR) Operations, and FM 3-10, Chemical and Biological Weapons


Smoke agents produce fine particles, solid or liquid, suspended

in the air to cause an obscuring effect. Smoke agents available to
the landing force include the following:

a. Fog Oil (SGF). --Fog oil (SGF) is a special petroleum oil that
produces a very dense white smoke when vaporized and condensed.
It does not normally cause any adverse physiological reaction when
personnel are exposed to it in field concentrations, and it has no ad-
verse effect on materiel.

b. White Phosphorous (WP). --White phosphorous (WP) is a solid

that burns when exposed to air, forming a very dense white smoke.
Plasticized white phosphorous (PWP) is a mixture of WP and rubber
gel. Burning particles of the WP and PWP agents scattered by burst-
ing type ammunition cause personnel casualties by burns which are
painful and slow healing.

c. Hexachloroethane Mixture (HC). --Hexachloroethane mixture (He)

is a solid that, when burning, produces a grayish white smoke slightly
less dense than that produced by WP. Long exposure of this smoke to
field concentrations may irritate or incapacitate unprotected personnel

d. Sulfur Trioxide-Chlorosulfonic Acid Solution (FS). --Sulfur trioxide-

chlorosulfonic acid solution (FS) is a liquid which, when exposed to
air, forms white smoke less dense than that formed by WP. This
acid smoke irritates the skin of exposed personnel and is highly
corrosive to some types of materials.


--------- --------------
FMFM 9-3


Screening agents may be employed to produce the following

types of smoke series: (See fig. 36.)

a. Smoke Blanket. - -A smoke blanket is a dense concentration

suited to employment over an avenue of approach so as to disrupt and
blind attacking enemy mechanized forces. Visibility in a smoke
blanket is restricted, allowing limited friendly counteractions to take

b. Smoke Haze. --A smoke haze is a light smoke concentration

suited to establishment over an area to reduce enemy visual observa-
tion during daylight or moonlight. Enemy observation by drivers, crews,
and accompanying infantry is reduced, whereas friendly forces can
generally operate easily within the haze in' conformance to previously
planned antimechanized operations. Visibility in a smoke haze is
normally from 135 to 180 meters.

c. Smoke Curtain. --A smoke curtain is a vertical smoke screen

suited to establishment between enemy observation and friendly anti-
mechanized units to obscure the enemy's ground visual observation and
his ability to neutralize friendly counterfire installations.

d. Blinding Smoke. --Blinding Smoke is a smoke concentration suited

for placement directly on enemy positions and to obscure enemy visual
observation into friendly territory to obscure the location, movement,
and displacement of antimechanized means. Blinking smoke is deliv-
ered by ground or air fire support means.


The purposes of smoke employed in the antimechanized operation

are to:
a. Blind advanCing enemy mechanized forces.

b. Blind enemy observation posts.

c. Blind enemy's overwatching antitank guns.

d. Screen the redeployment of friendly antitank weapons on the


FMFM 9-3

SMOKE BLANKET - prevents aerial visual observation

SMOKE HAZE - reduces enemy visual observation

SMOKE CURTAIN - obscures enemy ground visual observation

BLINDING SMOKE - obscures enemy ground visual observation

Figure 36. --Types of Smoke Screens.

e. Screen the movement of landing force elements launching attacks

or counterattacks against a mechanized enemy.


Wind speed and direction have a major influence on the effective-

ness of a smoke screen. Other weather factors have little affect on
smoke produced by smoke generators and a moderate affect on smoke
produced by other means.

a. Wind Speed.--The optimum wind speed for the establishment and

maintenance of a smoke screen varies with the type of smoke being
used. Smoke is not generally effective in wind speeds above 17 knots
since strong winds disperse smoke clouds rapidly.

FMFM 9-3
(1) HC smoke is most effective at wind speeds from 5 to 13
knots. At wind speeds below 5 knots, HC smoke drifts too slowly.
and rises too high to be effective.

(2) WP smoke is most effective at wind speeds from 9 to 17

knots. At wind speeds below 9 knots, WP pillars excessively, whereas
PWP smoke does not.

(3) SGF smoke is most effective at wind speeds from 5 to 11

knots. At wind speeds below 5 knots, it is difficult to produce a
smoke screen of any appreciable depth.

b. Wind Direction. --Wind direction influences the location of em-

placed smoke generators and of the selected impact area(s) for pro-
jected smoke. Since no long range forecast of local winds is entirely
reliable, smoke operation plans must provide for coverage in all wind
directions. When WP is used for a blinding or casualty effect, the
rounds are impacted directly on the target regardless of wind direction.

c. Air Stability. --Smoke clouds are effected by temperature gradi-

ent conditions. In general, smoke can be used effectively under all but
extreme conditions of air stability.

d. Humidity. --The obscuring power and persistency of smoke are

generally most effective under conditions of high humidity.


Smoke can be employed on any type of terrain. Level, unbroken

terrain is the most favorable for smoke screens although smoke takes
longer to spread out and merge than on rough terrain. Structures and
terrain variations tend to disperse smoke, causing it to cover a larger
area and to create a more uniform smoke screen. Smoke tends to be
evenly dispersed in wooded areas and remains longer in woods than in
open areas. Very rugged terrain consisting of large hills breaks up
smoke and causes holes in the screen.



The best method of disseminating smoke in an antimechanized

operation is influenced by the tactical Situation, desired results, con-
ditions of weather and terrain, and availability of smoke munitions.


FMFM 9-3

a. Large area coverage to the rear of the FEBA is best accom-

plished by the use of mechanical smoke generators.

b. Small area coverage forward of the FEBA; i. e., enemy OPs

and overwatching AT guns, is best achieved by the use of PWP and
He projected by mortars, artillery, or rockets. The antipersonnel
qualities of WP and PWP provide a bonus effect by producing casualties.

c. Large area coverage forward of the FEBA; i. e., large deploy-

ment of advancing enemy mechanized forces, is best delivered by air.
High performance aircraft with smoke tanks are capable of laying
smoke screens quickly and accurately in enemy territory.

d. The mixture of smoke with concentrations of HE is particularly

effective. It forces the attacking unit's tanks to slow their pace in an
effort to avoid obstacles, mines, and antitank guns. Exposed infantry-
men cannot guide the tanks due to HE air burst and disorientation.
Overwatching guns are blinded. To continue the attack can result in
the hostile tanks' being destroyed individually or in small groups as
they emerge from the smoke. Antitank weapons can dominate the
field in such a situation.

e. The Fleet Marine Force capability to deliver smoke by aircraft

has been tremendously improved with the Mark 12 smoke tank. This
smoke tank produces a smoke blanket that drops to cover the ground
rapidly regardless of the weather. Selective smoke concentrations can
be delivered by artillery and mortars without degrading the air supported
antimechanized effort.

FMFM 9-3


41101. GENERAL

a. A minefield is both a weapon and an obstacle. Mines are

considered active obstacles because they are capable of inflicting
casualties, although this is not their primary purpose. Minefields are
employed to strengthen a series of natural and artificial obstacles
across a likely avenue of hostile mechanized approach. A minefield
is the most practical device to close gaps between such obstacles.
Mines are invaluable to the landing force in antimechanized operations
in as much as they are the principal artificial obstacle that can be
employed readily in the early stages of the amphibious assault.

b. In the antimechanized operation mines are laid to accomplish at

least one of the following:

(1) Block all probable avenues of hostile mechanized approach.

(2) Delay hostile mechanized forces.

(3) Protect the front, flanks, and rear of security forces and
facilitate their withdrawal.

(4) Establlsh barriers forward of and to rear of the FEBA to

slow down the hostile mechanized attack and/or limit the scope of a

(5) Canalize or divert the hostile mechanized forces into selected

killing zones.

(6) Establish containing barriers within designated killing zones.

(7) Provide additional protection to elements defending the logis-

tical support area. __

(8) Harass and/or demoralize the enemy.

(9) Supplement other obstacles or weapons.

c. All troops of the landing force are trained to lay and remove
mines and breach enemy m ine fie Ids. They breach or clear mines only
to the extent mecessary for their continued movement and operation.


FMFM 9-3

d. This section discusses land mines available to the landing force,

and the design and construction of land mines in the antimechanized
operations. For a more complete discussion of land mine warfare see
FM 20-32, Land Mine Warfare, and FM 5-34, Engineer Field Data.


a. Mine. --An encased explosive or other material designed to

destroy or damage vehicles, boats, and aircraft or to wound, kill, or
otherwise incapacitate personnel.

b. Minefield. --An area of ground containing mines laid with or

without pattern.

c. Density. --The average number of mines per yard of minefield


d. Lane. --A single lane is normally 8 meters wide, a double lane

is normally 16 meters wide. Both are a clear route through an ob-

e. Gap. - -A clear portion of an obstacle or barrier designed to

permit a friendly force to pass through in tactical formation. It is
normally in excess of 16 meters and seldom less than 100 meters in
width. In a minefield it is a portion in which no mines have been

f. Minefield Record. --A complete written record of all pertinent

information concerning a minefield.

g. Minefield Report. --Any message, oral or written, concerning

friendly use of mines or the use of mines by the enemy.


Land mines available to the landing force are depicted in figure

37. These mines consist of a charge of high explosives contained in a
metallic or nonmetallic casing fitted with either a fuze and/or a firing
device for actuation by enemy vehicles or personnel.

a. Antitank Mines. --Antitank mines are designed to immobilize or

destroy a tank. They consist of a charge of high explosive in a metallic
or nonmetallic case and require pressure of 300 to 400 pounds to actuate
them. Firing devices are employed in secondary fuze wells of antitank
mines for boobytrapping.
FMFM 9-3

b. Antipersonnel Mines. --Antipersonnel mines are designed to cause

casualties to personnel. They consist of a small amount of high ex-
plosive in a container fitted with a detonating fuze arranged for actuation
by pressure, release of tension (cutting) of a taut trip wire, and elec-
trical or electronic impulse. Two general types of antipersonnel mines
are the bounding fragmentation type and the blast type.


All minefields are classified functionally as protective, defenSive,

barrier, nuisance, or phony. Definition, function, employment, and
characteristics of each classification are depicted in figure 38.


a. The commanding officer authorized to employ a minefield nor-

mally furnishes the officer in charge of laying the minefield the follow-
ing information:

(1) Tactical purpose of the field.

(2) General location.

(3) Lanes and gaps required by tactical plans (additional lanes,

but not gaps, may be added as desired by the subordinate commander).

(4) Restrictions as to the types of mines or fuzes to be used.

(5) SpecifiC information as to the supporting fires (the commander

laying the minefield plans the fire support of his own organiC weapons).

(6) Information as to the mines available, sources, and trans-


(7) Time by which the field must be completed.

(8) Reports and records required.

b. The small unit commander plans his portion of the minefield,

sites it on the ground, completes the task within the prescribed time,
and provides for detailed and close integration of the minefield with
other elements of the antimechanized defense as far as his unit is con-
cerned. He is responsible for the security of his unit while laying and
maintaining the minefie Ids.



Metal AT
Weight 30 tbs
w/22 Ibs expio8
Press 300-400 Ibs

Fuze M-60l 0.

Remove safety Insert Fuze Replace plug in safe


Non Metalic AT 2:

app TUX 28 tbe
w/21 tbs Explosive
Press 35O-S00 Ibs
Fuze Moo6


Metal AP
Shell Weight 5.3 Ibs
M2A4 w/O. 34 lbs expioB He
Press 8-30 Ibs
Pull 3- 101bs
Fuze M6Al Comb
Remove Percussion
Cap Cover

Metal AP
Weight B.251hs C.
MIS w/1.15 Ibs explos
Press 8-20 Ibs
Pull 3-8 Ibs

Fuze M-605 Comb

Test Positive Safety

Plastic AP blast Tie d,

Weight 3.29 01. con!
M14 ...,/101. explos Use iI
Press 20-35 lbs to tur
Fuze built tn shipp
P ....

Metal AT P ....
(killer mine) Type
Weight 18 1/2 Ibs open
Explos 10.5 lbs bur
M21 .reSB 340 lbs
Tilt Rod 19
Fuze M607
and ~
Remove shipping plug know

Static candle flare

Weight 14 Ibs
M 4. Press 2-9 Ibs on
TRIP tnp Wire
FLARE LIght for 1 min
Can be thrown simI-

~~: to hand gren- I ;'~I'.l!Il,W-.J\"lJII(,(
Anchor t/wire Fasten t/lWre taut Camouflage

Plashc AP blast
weight 3 1/3 oz Badl
M-25 w/l/3 oz tetryl . _ Will
Press 17-22 lbs
M-46 detonator

Emplace mlne
Alternately emplace
Remove dust Insert charge Remove safety cllp

Backblast to 16
meters Secondary High!
missile hazard to Mode
M - l8Al Plastic AP 100 meters
Fragmentation DangE
Welght 3.5 lbs

Safety baH into

Aim Weapon Safe position

Figure 37. --Land Mines.

FMFM 9-3

2 Boobytrappl~ wells
Bury with top pressure plate even
'II/or slightly above ground level
Disables any tank known

Tum dial to a~

2 Boobytrapptng wells
Dlsables any tank known
Bury' with top pressure plate even
wlor slightly above ground level

Cas red - 10 yda

!:>bell explodes 6-8 ft tn air
Remove Locking Safety before
removing positive Safety

Cas Red equal to M2A4

Explodes 2-4 ft in air
Remove positive safety lock

Tie down mine using carrying

USE' lSSUed M22 arming tool
to turn pressure plate or unscrew
shipping plug
Pressure plate slightly above ground

Pressure or tilt rod operation

Type of terrain determines
operation. In pressure operation
bury with top pressure plate
even with or slightly above
ground level. SeU must be firm
and sides of excavation must be
perpendicular for tilt rod
operation Disables any tank

Warning device in minefields

Similar to hand grenade

Badly injures foot of man.

Will penetrate 1Z ply vehicle
tire and tube.

Backblast to 16
meters Secondary Highly effective effects 50 meters
missile hazard to Moderately effective 100 meters
100 meters Oange rous 250 meters

FMFM 9-3

c. In case the officer in charge of the minefield is not responsible

for the defense of the area, he furnishes details of the minefield to
the responsible officer or his representative at the minefield site.


a. General. --In the design of a minefield, the controlling factor

is the tactical purpose of the field. In the antimechanized operation it
may be intended to accomplish the following:

(1) Provide warning to elements of the landing force.

(2) Slow up and disorganize the advance of hostile mechanized

units by its surprise effect.

(3) Restrict the enemy's freedom of maneuver.

(4) Canalize the enemy's mechanized attack or separate tanks

and accompanying infantry.

b. Planning Factors. --The following factors affect the decision as

to the type of mines to be used:

(1) The time and personnel available and the state of training
of the personnel.

(2) Whether mines should be readily detectable, as in the pro-

tective minefield, or hard to detect, as in the barrier or nuisance

(3) The desirability of employing both antipersonnel and antitank


(4) The desirability of boobytrapping mines. In this respect

the availability of trained personnel and the possibility of future breach-
ing and clearing are considered The ratio of boobytrapped mines to
antitank mines varies from a minmum of 1 to 20 for a defensive mine-
field to a minimum of 1 to 5 for a barrier minefield. Lack of time
and personnel usually prevents boobytrapping all mines, though it would
be desirable.

(5) Whether the tactical purpose of the minefield would be fur-

thered by using chemical, flame, directional, controlled, and improvised

FMFM 9-3

(6) The degree of concealment of the area by vegetation. t

(7) Whether the highly developed techniques in breaching by the
enemy dictate the use of more sophisticated mines and boobytraps.

c. Density of Minefields. - -The density of the minefield is the

average number of mines per meter to the minefield front. The mini-
mum density standard pattern minefield consists of three strips of
mines plus an irregular outer edge (IOE).

(1) The minimum effective density of antitank mines in an anti-

tank or mixed minefield where cover is provided is approximately one
mine per meter of minefield front. It is estimated that this density
will stop three out of four tanks. It is highly desirable that at least
two antipersonnel mines per meter of minefield front be included to
delay enemy infantry and retard breaching operations.

(2) A barrier minefield should be laid with an initial density of

not less than three antitank mines, four bounding fragmentation mines,
and eight blasting antipersonnel mines per meter of front.

(3) Most minefields should contain both antipersonnel and anti-

tank mines. Tanks can pass through antipersonnel fields without dam-
age, and an antitank minefield can be easily breached.

(4) An increase in density is normally acheived by increasing

the number of strips or rows of mines at the standard spacing and

interval and not by reducing the distance between individual mines.

(5) Scattered minefields laid without patterns are effective along

routes of mechanized advance. They add to the difficulty in breaching
by the enemy and also increase the hazard of removal by friendly
troops. Therefore, scattered mines are used only when it is unlikely
that the area will have to be cleared.

d. Depth of Minefields. --The depth of a minefield is the distance

between its front and rear elements. The greater the depth, the more
difficult it is to breach by hand or explosives. The depth of a defen-
sive minefield should not be less than 100 meters, and a depth of 300
to 500 meters is more desirable. However, the depth in hundreds of
meters should not greatly exceed the depth in antitank mines per meter
of minefield front.


Type of field Required authority Tactical employment Type of mine Density

Protective Regiment and Close-in protection and warning to All mines must be None specified.
Battalion, Com- small units in the battle position, in readily detectable.
mander or higher. a rear area, or an isolated mission No boobytraps.
May not be delegated such as outposts, or defense of road- AT, Ap'ars and im-
to lower than com- blocks. A protective minefield is provised mines
pany commanders. normally laid on short notice for a may be used.
limited time. Trip flares should
also be used.

Installed in accordance with the di vi- All types of AT Initially 1 AT &

Defensive Division or higher, and Apers mines. 2 or 3 Apers and
('annot delegate below sional plan to strengthen the defensive
position in the front, rear, and on the If feasible, at 1 - 4 - 8 on com-
regiment. least 5% of AT pletion.
flanks, to disorganize enemy attacks;
and to canalize enemy movements. mines should be
They are not laid on short notice. boobytrapped.
Trip flares should
be included.

To cover intervals between strongly All types of AT Minimum required

Barrier Division Commander defended localities to deflect the and Apers mines,
or higher. Can not density: 3 AT, 4
enemy into chosen killing grounds, to include toxic frag Apers and 8
be delegated. and to protect flanks and rear of posi- chemical mines if Blast Apers mines
tions against envelopment. May be authorized and ap- per yd of front.
planned and installed prior to out- propriate to the
break of hostilities, when it appear.s field. If feaSible,
that war is imminent and that pro- at least 20% of
longed defense is necessary. AT mines should
be booby trapped.
Trip flares should
be included.

Nuisance Landing Force To delay, disorganize and lower mo- All types of AT None specified.
Commander or higher, rale of advancing enemy; to hinder and Apers mines,
may be delegated to his use of an area or route. Parti- boobytraps and
Division Commander. cularly effective in retrograde move- dirty tric k de-
ment, denial operations and during vices, to include
evacuation. toxic chemical
mines if authori-
zed and appro-
priate to the pur-
pose of the fie ld.
If time permits all
AT mines should
be boobytrapped.

Phony The Commander who To deceive the enemy into thinking Normally does not
ha"s the authority to that an area contains mines. Used contain live mines.
install the type mine- in conjunction with live minefields to A few mines may
field sirr.ulated. supplement or extend them; will sel- be installed to in-
dom be used alone. Used to ('amou- crease deception.
flage gaps in live fields; these gaps
may be used as counterattack routes.

Figure 38. -

.ensity Pattern Marking Reports required Records required Removal required

specified. None specified. Marked and/or guards 1. Intention to lay. Standard form with at least minimum Yes, removal reqUired by
posted as required to 2. Initiation of information. Exception: urgency of laying unit unless reliev-
protect friendly troops. laying. tactical situation may sometimes pre- ing unit commander speci-
3. Completion of clude recording at time of laying. fically requests them to
laying. Forward record if ordered. be left in place. Certifi-
4. Report of change, cate of transfer sent to
if any. lowest commander having
5. Report of removal. command over both units
Forward all reports involved.
to Div Hq or equivalent
y 1 AT & Normally the standard As required to protect 1. Intention to lay. Standard form with 3.t least minimum No, if responsibility is
Apers and pattern will be used. friendly troops and 2. Initiation of laying. information. Forward to at least transferred, certificate
8 on com- civilians. Normally 3. Completion of laying. Div Hq. A record of change is re- will be completed as for a
the standard marking 4. Progress (if large quired if field is altered. prote cti ve minefie ld.
fence with markers is field).
used. 5. Report of change.
Forward completion
report of Landing
Force Hq.

~m required Standard, nonstandard As reqUired to protect 1. Intention to lay. Standard form with at least minimum No.
r: 3 AT, 4 patterns and scattered friendly troops. Nor- 2. Initiation of laying. information. Forward to Landing
pers and 8 mining is authorized. mally the standard 3. Progress (if large Force Hq. Record of change is
\pers mines marking fence w/mark- field). required.
of front. ers is used. 4. Completion of laying.
5. Change of field.
Completion report to
Landing Force Hq.

e specified. None specified. None, unless initially 1. Intention to lay. Standard form. Forward to Landing No.
protect friendly troops. 2. Initiation of laying. Force Hq.
3. Progress of laying.
4. Completion of lay-
5. Change of field.
Completion report to
Landing Force Hq.

SAME AS FOR THE TYPE FIELD SIMULATED. _ _ _ _ _ + ___________.....:-

,.. ~ live mines (if used).

Figure 38. --Consolidated Minefield Data o

(j) FMFM 9-3

Records required Removal required Remarks

tldard form with at least minimum Yes, removal required by 1. Nust be covered by fire.
lrmation. Exception: urgency of laying unit unless reliev- 2. Several men should
tical situation may sometimes pre- ing unit commander speci- know exact location of
de recording at time of laying. fically requests them to each mine.
'ward record if ordered. be left in place. Certifi-
cate of transfer sent to
lowest commander having
command over both units

ndard form with at least minimum No, if responsibility is 1. Min depth of 100 yds,
)rmation. Forward to at least transferred, certificate 300-500 yds is desirable.
- Hq. A record of change is re- will be completed as for a 2. Must be covered with
red if field is altered. protective minefield. fire.

,ctard form with at least minimum No . 1. Air and ground obser-

rmation. Forward to Landing vation is required.
'ce Hq. Record of change is 2. Mobile fire units usually
uired. used to defend field.

lnctard form. Forward to Landing No. 1. Abandoned fields be-

rce Hq. come nuisance fields .
2. Mayor may not be cov-
ered by fire.
3. A boobytrapped area is
considered a nuisance

live mines (if used). 1. Planning & coordina-

tion for laying & fire cov-
erage must be done with
same care as for type field
being simulated.

FMFM 9-3


a. Basic Considerations. - -The following factors are among those

generally considered when locating and constructing a minefield:

(1) Overall plan of operation.

(2) Terrain.

(3) Location of other obstacles.

(4) Likely avenues of hostile mechanized approach.

(5) Provisions for future expansion of the field.

(6) Making the field more hazardous for the enemy to breach
than to flank.

(7) The location of the field relative to deSignated killing zones.

(8) Arrangement of patterns so that penetration of the foremost

field is contained by other fields located in depth in the landing force's
barrier system.

(9) Enemy capabilities.

(10) Availability of mines and any restrictions on their employ-


b. Patterns and Techniques. - -The following patterns and techniques

are employed in constructing minefields:

(1) A standard pattern minefield is depicted in figure 39. It

corisists of a minimum of three regular mine strips which are designa-
ted in alphabetical order beginning with the one nearest the enemy, the
front strip. In addition, there is an irregular strip on the enemy side
of strip A called the irregular outer edge (IOE).

(2) A mine cluster is the basic unit of the standard pattern.

It may contain from one to five mines. (See fig. 40.)

(3) Two rows of clusters make a mine strip as depicted in

figure 40. The clusters in each strip are numbered from the right
end of the strip when faCing the enemy. (See fig. 40.) The cluster
number is the first cluster on the right when looking down the strip.
FMFM 9-3






RJ 682954

Figure 39. --Standard Minefield.

(4) When tripwires are used, they are placed on antipersonnel

mines on the enemy side of the strip centerline row. Not more than
one tripwire activated mine is installed in a cluster or emplaced closer
than every third cluster. (See fig. 40.)

(5) The arrangement of the strips is not always parallel. A

center line may have as many turning points as desired. (See fig. 40)

(6) Rear area minefields are completely fenced with two strands
of barbed wire at the time of laying. The fence does not follow the exact
boundary of the field, is placed where it does not indicate the boundary,
and is at least 20 paces from the nearest mine. Standard markers are
hung on the upper strand so that the word "mine" or in the case of a



r .,


~+~ \..~ ~.~ ~.~ ~.~

-!,/ .........,/ '-..'../ ,'../ -!..V
0 1
OR ~ / /~. ~~ "~~~~ A-...\;:;t-".-....,,--- SAFETYLIMI
A ~~, "i' /"....
~~ ~.J l!. ..~ OUTER ROW
r r

l!~) e.~ L ...U l.!

a. Mine Cluster. I NO TRIP WIRES l']!;KMITTEI


CLUSTER OF A STRIP b. Use of Trip Wires.
m: LAime

.. ...
P (-,
... <::\ ':>
<.J t:>
,.-,. ,::" <:'
'" A

~7 35 33 31 29 27 25 23 21 19 17 t.a



d. Turning Points. e. Numbering Clusters.

Figure 40. --Minefield Technique:

FMFM 9-3


: STRIP -0




C. Mine Strip.


I ..',.
"' ..t:,,\ MINEFIELD

r--;1t~.,~r-______P~AL~_ES_=====1 - _ _-I





f. Lane Marking.

31d Techniques.

FMFM 9-3

chemical field agent the word "gas" face away from the field. -Lanes
are marked as illustrated in figure 40.'

(7) Forward area minefields are marked as described above

with the exception of the following:

(a) Mjnefields forward of the FEBA are sometimes fenced

only on the friendly side or on the friendly side and flanks.

(b) Lanes in forward areas are marked inconspicuously by

placing wire, tape, or closely spaced objects on each side of the lane.
The lane entrance is identified by markers such as stakes marked with
tape or piles of stones. Lane exits are not marked on the enemy side.

(8) The basic prinCipals of camouflage apply to all aspects of

mine laying. The de cis ion to bury mines is based upon the type of
mine, terrain, and mine laying technique. When AT mines are buried
by hand, they are buried flush with or slightly above ground level.
Mounds of dirt over each mine as well as the distinctive trace of the
mechanical planter and tracks of vehicles pose special problems. An
ac ceptable method of burying and camouflaging mines is illustrated in
figure 41.

(9) Step by step development of a standard minefield is illus-

trated in figure 42.

FMFM 9-3




Figure 41. - -Camouflage and Concealment of Mines.

FMFM 9-3



a. hiiUal steps in laying a minefield.

c. Laying out the tOE strip. ~

e. Minefield completely taped, including safety and lrafflc lines, and safety lanes.

Figure 42. --Development of a Minefield

FMFM 9-3


41201. GENERAL

Obstacles play an important role in antimechanized operations

by restricting the movement of hostile mechanized forces, by delaying
them, and by forcing them to concentrate or regroup. In addition,
the landing force may employ obstacles offensively to screen its attack
and/or to anchor flank(s) of advancing units in the amphibious assault.
This section discusses the obstacles employed in the antimechanized
operation, with emphasis being placed on hasty or field expedient type
obstacles that can be constructed quickly in a fast-moving situation.
For a more detailed description and discussion of antimechanized ob-
stacles and their employment, see: FM 5-15, Field Fortifications,
FM 5-6, Engineer Troop Organization and Operation, and FM 5-34,
Engineer Field Data.

a. Obstacle. --An obstruction (natural terrain feature, condition of
soil or climate, or manmade object of work) that'stops, delays, or
diverts movement.

b. Natural Obstacle. --A steep slope, river, gully, heavy woods,

deep snow, and manmade objects such as buildings or walls which were
not built as obstacles but may be employed as such.

c. Artificial Obstacle. --An obstacle which is manmade and is used

to stop or impede military movement. Artificial obstacles include
works of construction and destruction such as demolished bridges, road
craters, abatis, flooded areas, minefields, contaminated areas, wire
entanglements, roadblocks, antitank ditches, and log, steel, and con-
crete structures.

d. Demolition. --Destruction of structures, materiel, or terrain

features to render them unusable or to increase their obstacle value.
It may be accomplished by means of explosives, nuclear devices, fire,
water, mechanical means, aerial bombs, or weapons fire.


PrinCipal antimechanized obstacles available to the landing force

and pertinent characteristics of their construction are illustrated in
figures 43 and 44. These include:

(End holes always 7 foat.)
Resulting crater approx-
imately 8 feel deep and

25 feet wide.

"- ---, " 1
' .. --- ..... , -- r+ B

t : til
4 B


Placement of charges for deliberate road craters. _-ROADWAY_ ROADWA Y------to


Holes of equal depth spaced at 5 ft. inter-
vals. Use 10 pounds of explosives per foot
of deptn. Resulting crate depth approx.
1 1/2 times depth of boreholes, Width
approx. 5 times depth of boreholes. (3-10" LOGS or I-IS" LOG)




Placement of charges [or hasty POad craters.

a. Demolitions. b. Log Hurdles.


1. Trees should be at least 2 feet or

more 1n diameter and at least 20 feet long.
2. To block a road, an abatis at least TRIANGULAR IXTCH
75 yards deep Is required.

3. Abatis may be constructed by use of

explosives, handtoois, or by a combina-
Hon of notching and explosives.

4. Bushy topped trees with heavy branches

and thick fOliage should be used. Preparing explOSive cllarges. /"EVETTED
5. Trees should be felle<J so that the
trunk remams attached to the stump.

6. No cut IS made on the side of the tree

toward which It IS to fall.

7. The tree Is strained to fali In the

l.. r,:::--15' to 20' ----;;;;;-


required d.ltection and the butt cut 2/3

through on the Opposite Side.

8. Effectiveness of the abatis IS increased

by tnterlactng barbed w).re tn the branches
of the trees. HURDLE OBLIQUE TO



Al).ttls used as a roadblock.

d.Anllmechanlzed Ditches.

Figure 43. --Antimechanized Obstacles.

FMFM 9-3

Rectangular log crib used as a roadblock.

Cross section of rectangular log cnb,


Plan view of rectangular log cnb,



eLog Cnbs


FMFM 9-3







NOTE: Antimechanized obstacles depicted here would normally be employed only in prolonged defensive opera-
tions. A typical landing force would require construction and engineer augmentation to execute said obstacles.

Figure 44. - -Antimechanized Obstacles.

FMFM 9-3

a. Antitank Minefields. --Landmines are the best of all artificial

obstacles because they are portable, easily and quickly installed and
camouflaged, and easily removed if carefully charted. They are em-
ployed to slow down or stop enemy mechanized forces by providing
obstacles which restrict hostile mechanized movement and cause the
enemy to come under planned fires. Their casualty producing effect
is secondary.

b. Antitank Ditches. --In prepared defensive positions, antitank

ditches supplement natural obstacles. They are usually employed in
conjunction with wire entanglements and m inefie Ids , particularly in
flat open terrain, just inland of beaches, or in other locations where
the terrain and situation warrant the expenditure of the necessary time
and labor. Although antitank ditches seldom stop a tank attack, they
can delay or canalize it.
c. Abatis. --An abatis is constructed by felling trees at an angle of
450 to the enemy's path of approach. The trees are left attached to
the stumps. The trees should be at least 3 feet in diameter to stop
tanks but may be smaller to stop wheeled vehicles. The abatis should
be at least 75 meters deep.

d. Log Hurdles and Cribs. --Although antitank mines are generally

used to block mechanized routes, rectangular or triangular log hurdles
and cribs are used occasionally to block earth or gravel roads. Unless
substantially built, log hurdles and cribs will not stop heavy tanks.

e. Log Posts. --A properly constructed and emplaced log post ob-
stacle when covered by fire is almost invulnerable to tank assault and
is an unprofitable target for artillery. However, it requires hardwood
posts 9 feet long and at least 12 inches in diameter. The posts are
placed in rows with each post 2 to 3 feet above the ground and placed
several feet apart.

f. Demolitions. --The purpose of military demolitions is to destroy

or make unusable objects and facilities such as defiles, bridges, roads,
railroads, tunnels, ports, canals, dams, industrial facilities, and im-
portant items of equipment abandoned by the enemy. Demolition is
accomplished by fire, water, mechanical means, weapons fire, aerial
bombing, nuclear deVices, or hand-placed explosive charges. Demoli-
tion by explosive charges is the most rapid, certain, and economical.
For targets or great size, demolition by nuclear devices may be more

FMFM 9-3

g. Craters. --Craters are effective obstacles on roads or trails if

the areas on the flanks of the crater are mined or covered by anti-
tank fire or both. Craters are most effective if the road shoulders
slope sharply or rise steeply as in mountainous terrain.

h. Steel and Concrete Obstacles. --Steel ~ams, ramps, tetrahedrons,

hedgehogs, walls, and concrete obstacles are usually part of permanent
defensive installations. They are difficult to prepare and, in some
instances, beyond the capabilities of tactical units to fabricate.


Antipersonnel obstacles are important in antimechanized oper-

ations inasmuch as they provide protection for and delay the removal
of antimechanized obstacles. Antipersonnel obstacles employed in the
antimechanized operation include the following types:

a. Barbed Wire Entanglements. --Barbed wire entanglements are

designed to impede the movement of foot troops and to slow down or
stop the movement of vehicles. They are classified by mission as
tactical, protective, or supplementary. The follOwing are the prinCipal
types of wire entanglements.

(1) Four strand fences.

(2) Concertina fences.

(3) Double -apron fences.

b. Antipersonnel Mines. --Antipersonnel mines are used primarily

around forward positions and outposts to break up or hinder enemy
patrol action and to slow down enemy infantry assaults. They are also
used with antitank mines to delay infantry-supported mechanized attacks
and to hinder the removal of antitank mines.

c. Boobytraps and Dirty-Trick Devices. --A boobytrap is a concealed

explosive charge hidden in such a way that it will be set off by unsus-
pecting enemy personnel. The dirty-trick device is a manufactured
boobytrap designed to imitate some useful article that appeals to the
enemy soldier's cupidity.

d. Chemical Contamination. - -Toxic chemical agents may be used in

the form of antipersonnel mines, in belts of agents that have a perSistent

FMFM 9-3

effect, and to contaminate other types of obstacles. Contamination of

an area does not constitute an absolute barrier in itself. However, it
forces the enemy either to accept casualties or to decontaminate and
take protective measures which reduce his combat efficiency. Chemicals
are not normally authorized in protective or defensive minefields unless
integrated into a barrier system.


Obstacles are constructed laterally and in depth and are coor-

dinated with tactical plans. All obstacles should contribute to the
success of the plans, and all units concerned should know the location
of and understand the purpose and type of obstacles employed. In
addition, aU units concerned should know when the obstacle plan is to
be executed and for how long each obstacle is to be defended. Coor-
dination with all elements is required to prepare an integrated plan to
ensure that natural obstacles are used to best advantage against a
mechanized enemy. In constructing obstacles, the following general
principles apply:

a. All obstacles are concealed and camouflaged.

All obstacles are kept under observation.
Whenever feaSible, obstacles are covered by fire.
d. Antimechanized obstacles are covered by the fires of antitank

e. Obstacles are made as difficult to breach as possible.
f. Obstacles are so constructed that they will not provide protection
and cover to an attacking enemy.

g. Lanes and gaps provided in obstacle systems to facilitate future

operations of the landing force are concealed and covered by fire.

FMFM 9-3


41301. GENERAL

Ground surveillance radar equipment provides the landing force

with an all-weather capability for battlefield surveillance in the antimech-
anized operation. It is a principal means for the detection of hostile
mechanized forces massing to launch a mechanized assault at night or
in bad weather. This section delineates the capabilities and limitations
of radar equipment and its limitations in antimechanized operations.


a. Radar energy produced by ground surveillance equipment can

penetrate light camouflage, smoke, haze, light rain, light snow, dark-
ness, and light foliage to detect mechanized targets. It does not pene-
trate dense undergrowth, trees, and heavy foliage. Heavy rain or
snow seriously restricts radar detection capabilities. Other than. as
explained above, radar sets have a line of sight capability.

b. Ground surveillance radar is generally ineffective against air

targets unless the air target is flying close to the ground to permit
background echoes. The radar is vulnerable to jamming and electronic
and other deception means. Noise of operation may give positions


In the antimechanized operation, radars are employed to main-

tain surveillance over avenues of approach for enemy mechanized forces,
possible enemy attack pOSitions, and assembly areas. The surveillance
effort is directed prinCipally forward of the FEBA but is also used by
ground units throughout the battle area. Particular attention is given
to gaps between units and exposed flanks. To this end, alternate and
supplementary pOSitions are established to provide complete surveillance
coverage of the battle area.

a. Radars may support one echelon or any combination of the three

echelons of defense. They may be employed with the security forces
to extend their surveillance capability. Teams employed with the
security force normally revert to their primary mission when the se-
curity force is withdrawn.

FMFM 9-3
b. The uses of radar in the antimechanized operation are limited
only by the capabilities of the equipment and the imagination and in-
genuity of the tactical commander. Radar teams may be employed in
conjunction with barrages and final protective fires. They assist in
determining ~hen mechanized forces are approaching or when they are
in specified areas. Radars may also be used in conjunction with em-
placed antitank and antipersonnel weapons, and they may be used to
determine the optimum time for detonation of explosives, chemicals,
or nuclear demolition munitions.


The principal tactical missions normally assigned to radar with

the landing force to assist antimechanized operations include the fol-
a. Searching avenues of approach, possible attack positions, assembly
areas, or other sectors or areas on a time schedule, at random, or
continuously; to report location, Size, compositions, and nature of enemy

b. Monitoring point targets such as bridges, defiles, or road junc-

tions which canalized the movement of hostile mechanized forces.

c. Monitoring and searching final protective fire areas or barrage

locations to permit timely firing.

d Searching areas of nuclear and conventional fires to detect enemy
activity immediately after firing as an indication of firing effect.

e. Extending the observation capabilities of patrols by enabling them

to survey distant points or areas of special interest.

f. Assisting the visual observation of units during daylight hours by

making initial detection of partially obscured targets at long ranges.

g. Assisting in the control of units during limited visibility oper- I


h. Increasing the effectiveness of fire support.

(1) When targets have been detected with reasonable certainty

by radar, the fire support means may immediately take the target
under fire.

FMFM 9-3

(2) When the type of target cannot be established definitely,

the radar team can furnish location information of the target so that
illumination may then be employed accurately to establish which type
of fire can be best used.
(3) Since well trained radar operators can estimate the density
of enemy activity in a given area and the rate of enemy movement,
radar equipment may be used to assist in determining the optimum
weapons system for employment.

i. Determining the rate of movement of a target by plotting the

location of the target at two known points and the time it took the tar-
get to move from one point to the other.

Radars are normally positioned on the forward slopes of domin-

ating terrain (military crest). A radar site and an observation post
may be located together; however, radar personnel are not employed
as ground observers except in emergency. To take advantage of the
maximum range of the sets, radars are employed as far forward as
possible. As with a crew-served weapon, radar is dug in and camou-
flaged, consistent with the requirements for operating the equipment.
It is positioned so that its employment is coordinated closely with the
disposition and employment of other surveillance means. The specific
location of the radar equipment is in the general location designated by
the unit commander and meets the criteria of a position for a crew-
served weapon. Main, alternate, and supplementary pOSitions are
selected and prepared if time permits. The radar sites should have
~s many of the following characteristics as possible:

a. Permit maximum radar coverage of the aSSigned area.

b. Provide concealment for the team and its equipment.

c. Facilitate communications.

d. Take advantage of routes for displacement.

e. Be relatively free of close ground clutter objects such as trees,

bushes, or buildings. If these objects are directly in the radar beam,
the resulting clutter tends to. distort the radar beam resulting in
inaccurate range, azimuth, and elevation data.

FMFM 9-3

f. Take advantage of security provided by combat elements while

avoiding interference with their operations. If possible, a position
is located within a well-defended area; however, since the enemy inay
be capable of detecting radar signals and firing in that area, locating
radar equipment in the vicinity of troop positions may be undesirable .

FMFM 9-3


41401. GENERAL

Illumination can be of considerable value in protecting the land-

ing force against hostile mechanized attacks at night by exposing enemy
mechanized preparations and movements. This section discusses the
employment of those illuminating means available to the landing force.
For a more detailed discussion of illumination see FM 20-60, Battle-
field Illumination.


Battlefield illumination is an active system for illuminating

friendly and hostile activities in tactical operations. It uses artificial
white light from a manmade source for illumination. The efficiency
of the system is greatly reduced by fog, haze, rain, and snow. Ex-
amples of efficient area battlefield illuminating means include artillery,
naval gunfire, mortar, and air rocket delivered illuminating flares,
tank and general purpose searchlights, and improvised illuminating
means. Limited illumination is also provided by ground signals,
illuminating grenades, and trip flares. The illuminating means avail-
able to the landing force in the antimechanized operation and their
capabilities and delivery systems are illustrated in figure 45.


In antimechanized operations illumination is used to accomplish

the following:

a. Illuminate key terrain features to the front and flanks of the

battle area that tend to canalize or restrict the maneuver of hostile
mechanized forces; i. e., defiles and bridges.

b. Illuminate and search likely assembly areas and attack positions

for hostile mechanized forces.

c. Provide close-in protective illumination during an enemy mech-

anized assault at night.

d. Adjust night fires by artillery and naval gunfire and illuminate

targets for air support.

FMFM 9-3
8lMMM30lA2 4.2 inch M335 I05-MM M314 A2 155-MMM1l8A2
Weight Aprox (lbs) 11 28 4& 102
Classification Standard Substitute Standard Standard ,Standard
Candle Power 500,000 500,000 410, 000 I, 000, 000
Burning time
(seconds) 75 70 60 70
Rate of descent
(reet per second) 35
Dia. of area
illuminated by one
i2 30
lI50 750 1000 2000
shell (meters)
w/o observing
instruments. -
illumination for 1600 12~O 1550 3200
aimed fire. Distance
from weapons to
targets (meters)
instruments. -
illumination for
surveillance or 5300 3550 5100 10,950
.adjusted fire from
observer to lUu-
minated area (meters
helght of burst
(meters) 392 564 752 690
Maximum Range of
Projectile (meters) 2100 3650 9150 13,700
Fuze and M840-25 MTSQ, M50l MTSQ M501 and MTSQ. M50l Al
fuze time seconds variable 0-75 seconds M501 Al 0-75 0-75 seconds
Continuous illu-
mination (rounds
per minute)

*155mm illumination is authoriZed for use with the 155mm gun when fired wlth NORMAL charge only.



MK.8-Mod.2 "'4

Weight (lbs) 30 20 23

Classification standard (NAVl) llandard 9.andard

Candle power 1,000,000 500,000 About 2,500,000

Burning time (minutes) 3.5

Rate of discent (feet per sec.) 7.5 10

Dia. of area illuminated (mtrs) 2,300 1.150 3,5004,000

w/o observing instruments-

illumination for aimed fire.
Distance from observer to 2,300 5,500
targets (mtrs)

Optimum beiglt for activation

of flare (feet) I,'" 1,600 2,500

Maximum usable range Same as range of the aircraft limited by battlefield visibility conditions.

Fuze time 300-12,000 feet of 120 seconds delay 3,5,10, IS, 20, 25,
free fall and 30 seconds delay
IMun! ion require:a or
continuous illumination
(per hr) 20 25 30

Projector Bomb racks or Bomb raeks Bomb rack or

MK. 1 Mod. 0 Aero 5A-1
Container AlC Flame

Based on burn-out of flare 100 feet above ground


ITEM 5-inch 38 Cal 6-1nch 47 Cal

Classification Sandard $.andarcl

Candle power 330,000 800,000

Burning time (seconds) 50 50

Rate of diseent (foot per seeond) 30 40

Fuze time (seconds) 45 (Maximum) 45 (Maximum)

Maximum usuable range

(full charge) (meters) 14,100 18,200

Diameter of area illuminated

(meters) 360-550 480-640

Figure 45. --Illumination Systems.

FMFM 9-3


Active systems in antimechanized operations can be detected

by the enemy; therefore, they are controlled and coordinated closely by
the commander directing the tactical operation. In addition to normal
planning for combat operations, commanders accomplish the following:

a. Prepare an illumination plan and ensure its integration into the

plans of fire support of artillery, naval gunfire, and/or the mortar
illumination means that are employed in the antimechanized operation.

b. Prepare a surveillance plan for the employment of visual and

electronic observation devices and techniques to ensure the coverage
of likely enemy mechanized approaches.

c. Consider the use of all appropriate night vision equipment in

the illumination and surveillance plans including infrared light and ob-
servation means. Consistent with all other tactical considerations, the
commander ensures that the most efficient use is made of these illu-
minating and observation capabilities.

d. Ensure the provision of an adequate communication network in

order to warn troops and alert antime chanized defenses.

e. Consider the need for alternate observation means that may be

necessary due to the effects of supporting fires and mechanized action
since dust may diffuse the illumination to the disadvantage of friendly
f. Control all illunination in the commander's area of the operation.
Coordinate with adjacent commanders, as required, to effect illumination
of mutual secondary areas and areas of common interest.


Indirect illumination may be obtained through diffusion or re-

flection. (See fig. 46.) In this technique the light source employed
may be a single searchlight positioned behind a terrain mask or several
searchlights emplaced as required by the area being illuminated. The
light is reflected from low clouds or diffused over the crest of a mask.
The location of a light source is difficult to detect; therefore, the
position need not be changed frequently. Tank searchlights are rarely
used for indirect illumination since they limit the use of tank weapons.

FMFM 9-3

The primary source of indirect illumination is the artillery adjusted

general purpose searchlight.


In planning the use of direct illumination, the commander ensures

that the illuminating means can illuminate the enemy position or mech-
anized formation. He ensures that effective fire can be placed on en-
emy mechanized concentrations while frIendly forces remain unexposed.
Techniques used in direct illumination depend largely on the character-
istics of the area to be illuminated, the atmospheric conditions, and
the illuminating means available, as well as the tactical situation.

a. Pyrotechnics. --The employment of pyrotechnics is based on the

same considerations affecting the illuminating means. In addition, the
following are considered:

(1) Range of weapon or aircraft.

(2) Duration and area of effective light.

(3) Temporary loss of supporting fires during illumination


b. Searchlights.--Searchlights employed in direct illumination give

more intense illumination on a target area than when used indirectly.
(See fig. 46.) The intensity of the light on the ground decreases grad-

ually as the range from the searchlight increases. Minute atmospheric
particles reflect the beam and reduce the ability of the observer to see
the target area. This effect can be reduced by positioning the observer
to the flank of the light. Mechanized forces and other objects silhouetted
between an observer and the light beam are clearly visible to a range
of several hundred meters. Direct illumination and the visual obser-
vation employed with it are affected by atmospheric conditions, natural
light, the reflectivity of the illuminated surfaces, and shadows. Search- i
lights employed in direct illumination are operated intermittently and
moved to alternate and supplementary pOSitions frequently. Tank-mount- I

ed searchlights are operated in groups of tow or more when using

flicker illuminating techniques. The duration of each flicker is about
15 seconds. As one tank searchlight is flicked off, the other tank
searchlights are alternately flicked on and then off.

c. Aircraft. --Aircraft are capable of continuous accurate flare

illumination up to 1 1/2 hours per sortie. When conditions permit,

FMFM 9-3


'. :." ... ::' ... :.':': ... :'. ~ot\.

... . ....... ' rte~ ~
: : :.:~ :' . :. ": . ". '. lS QUa - .
............ O~ e<\U3- .........
: : ........... ..,...-c:fUst! . : : . '. . ' . ' .
. '. y,'1 J.i~~
~~\ttEC'T .. : '.: :': '::.' .
\~v ; .: :'. :.. : '.. : . . . .': .

: " ..

. . : '. ;:. :'.::' 'T\O~

. . . . $:f\..~C
. . ... y,'1 \t ...
i1ttEC~ .:. ...'. : ~ .
. : . .


30 inch 435,000,000 Variable 3 to 6 10,000
General P.urpose

18.inch 2,500,000 Focused 8 wide 1,400
Fixed Focus

Figure 46. --Employment of Illumination.

FMFM 9-3

flare-loaded aircraft may fly continuous cover for the landing force
and deliver on call illumination. Aircraft flares provide sufficient light
for aimed fire and surveillance under conditions approximating daylight.

(1) The use of aircraft flares in battlefield illumination should

be adequately covered in standing operating procedures and operation
orders to ensure coordination, control, and time availability. Even
when on call illumination is available. from aircraft on air-alert status,
coordination is required to prevent possible exposure of adjacent unit

(2) Effective ground control of aircraft must be exercised to

achieve accuracy of delivery and to make prompt adjustments in the
placing of illumination as required by changes in the ground tactical

222 ~
FMFM 9-3


Section I: GENERAL

a. The division antitank (AT) battalion is the principal organic unit
available to the principal organic unit available to the division commander
for the antimechanized protection of his organization. The AT battalion
is equipped to employ 45 rifles, multiple, 106mm self-propelled (SP)
M50A1 Ontos. The Ontos is specifically designed for antimechanized
operations and is characterized by:

(1) The ability to penetrate the armor of any tank currently

known to be in existence. The HEAT shell of the 106mm RR will
penetrate 16 to 20 inches of armor plate.

(2) Mobility generally equal to that of tanks and wheeled vehi-

(3) A limited degree of armor protection against small arms
and shrapnel.

(4) Flexibility in combat organization.

b. Scope. --This chapter covers the organization, mission, weapons,

command relationships, tactical employment, communications, and
logistics of the antitank battalion.

FMFM 9-3

c. Terminology. --The term Ontos used throughout this chapter

describes the primary weapon of the antitank battalion designated as
the rifle, multiple, l06mm self-propelled, M50Al. .


The primary mission of the antitank battalion is to provide anti-

mechanized support to the division for the destruction of hostile tanks
and other gun or personnel carrying, armored or tracked vehicles.
The battalion's secondary mission is to provide direct fire support to
infantry units and to motorized reconnaissance patrols when enemy
mechanized attack is not probable.


a. Primary MiSSion. --In the execution of their primary mission

of antimechanized support, the Ontos are employed in the greatest
possible mass and echeloned in depth consistent with the situation. In
view of the number of tanks and Ontos available to a Marine division,
the question of mass on occasion becomes nebulous. Under normal
circumstances tanks are employed in supporting the offensive missions
of the assault regiments while Ontos support the defensive aspects of
the assault. The employment of mass is appropriate when an armored
attack can be predicted and sufficient reaction time and routes of
approach to blocking positions are present. The principle of mass
employment is equated to the practical employment of available anti-
mechanized resources. The antitank vehicle's primary mission may
be successfully executed through proper use of its firepower, mobility,
and speed.

b. Secondary Mission. --In the execution of thier secondary mission,

the M50s are used as close support vehicles and not as armored spear-
head vehicles.

c. Coordination Control. --the antitank battalion is employed as

part of the division antimechanized defense system and is closely coor-
dinated with other fire support means such as air, artillery, and tanks.
The battalion's most probable employment is in general support or re-
serve under division control. When required by the situation and the
scheme of maneuver, antitank elements of the battalion may be placed
in support of or attached to infantry regiments.

FMFM 9-3


a. General. --The antitank battalion consists of a headquarters and

service company and three antitank companies. (See fig. 47.) The
45 M50 antitank vehicles mount a total of 270 160mm recoilless rifles.

(1) Headquarters and Service Company. --The headquarters and

service company consists of a battalion headquarters section composed
of the command and staff sections, a company headquarters, an ordnance
repair platoon, a communication platoon, a motor transport platoon, a
supply platoon, and a medical section. There are no Ontos in the
company headquarters. The company commander controls the employ-
ment of his unit from' his radio vehicle. (See fig. 48.)


I /'
I /

Figure 47. --Antitank Battalion.

(2) Antitank Company. --Each antitank company consists of a

company headquarters containing the company headquarters section,
maintenance section, fuel/ammunition supply section, and three anti-
tank platoons. (See fig. 49.)

(3) Antitank Platoon. - -The antitank platoon consists of a platoon

headquarters and two Ontos sections, each with two Ontos. The fifth
Ontos in the platoon headquarters is normally employed with one of the
sections. The platoon leader is not embarked in an Ontos, but he con-
trols the employment of his unit from his radio vehicle.
b. Command and Staff Relationships. --Command and staff functions
are exercised through a compact operational command group consisting
of the commander and the executive staff. The executive staff includes per-
sonnel for liaison during combat as well as personnel for reconnaissance.
FMFM 9-3

The CO of the antitank battalion is normally the division antimechanized

officer. In this capacity he provides direct and continuing liaison with
the division staff regarding the development of antimechanized plans
and the employment of the AT battalion. The battalion S-3(A) effects
continuous liaison with the division G-3 section, while the battalion S-2
effects liaison with the division G-2 section on an as required basis.

c. Communications. --Communication means are provided to main-

tain reliable and continuous communication channels to subordinate units
and higher headquarters. The primary method of communications is
radio. Alternate methods of communications are messenger, wire,
and visual and sound signals.

d. Intelligence. --The organic intelligence section of battalion head-

quarters is capable of limited intelligence collection and processing.
The battalion depends upon division for much of the intelligence pre-
requisite to its employment. To ensure that 180Ms and SITREPs reach
the battalion expeditiously, the battalion S-2 maintains close liaison
with the division G-2. Rapid transmission of information is then pro-
vided to subordinate units. The battalion intelligence effort is con-
cerned with enemy armored capabilities and the area of operations I

having a bearing on the mechanized threat. Standing operating proce-
dures within the battalion provide for the S-2 maintaining an armor
workbook of all known hostile armor. The S-2 provides instruction in
armor recognition for battalion personnel as required. I

Figure 48. --Headquarters and Service Company.

FMFM 9-3




I (10NTOS)


I (20NTOS)

I (20NTOS)

Figure 49. --Antitank Company.

e. Administrative Capabilities. --The battalion is capable of self-

f. Logistic Capabilities. --The antitank battalion possesses the

following logistic capabilities:

(1) Maintenance. --The battalion performs organizational main-

tenance (1st echelon) of all material authorized the battalion, and or-
ganizational maintenance (2nd echelon) of motor transport, ordnance,
and electronics equipment authorized the battalion.

(2) Medical - -The battalion provides emergency treatment and

preparation for evacuation by external means of all casualties requiring
hospitalization. It maintains a battalion aid station for treatment of
minor illnesses and exercises technical supervision of measures for the
prevention and control of disease.

(3) Transportation. --Motor transport equipment organic to the

battalion provides transportation for command, staff, and liaison per-
sonnel; communication equipment; limited emergency medical evacua-
tion; and normal supply distribution. Such motor transport is limited,
and the organization is capable of organically moving only 75 percent
of its basic load of ammunition.

(4) Supply. --The battalion is capable of perforning organic supply

functions. The normal supply method is supply point distribution at bat-
talion level with unit distribution by battalion to the antitank companies.
FMFM 9-3


The Ontos is a full-tracked, lightly armored, mobile carrier,

mounting six 106mm recoilless rifles, M40A1C; four caliber. 50
spotting rifles, M8; and one caliber .30 machinegun, M1919A4. It is

operated by a crew of three. Detailed characteristics of the Ontos
are contained in figure 50.

a. The six 106mm recoilless rifles, four caliber. 50 spotting rifles,

and the caliber. 30 machinegun on the Ontos are all externally mounted.
The 106mm rifles are numbered clockwise 1 through 6 starting with
the lower left-hand rifle as viewed from the rear. (See fig. 51.)
Recoilless rifles 3 and 4 have spotting rifles attached. Rifles 2 and
5 (upper outboard) each have a spotting rifle and direct fire sight
attached and may be removed, if deSired, and installed on portable ~J
mounts. The spotting rifle attached to rifle 3 is deSignated left spot-
ting rifle; the one attached to rifle 4, right. All weapons are aligned
and controlled from inside the vehicle using a periscopic sight with an
etched reticle pattern.

b. Normally, all weapons are fired electrically; however, they may ~

be fired manually by lanyard. Safety features prevent premature firing.
The rifle cannot be fired until breeches are changed from safe (travel)
to closed (firing) pOSition. Hydraulic actuators close the breeches <

from inside the vehicle. Rifles may be fired singly or in any combin- I
ation of 2 to 6 rifles simultaneously. When firing in two-rifle salvos,
the firing order is 1 and 6, 2 and 5, and 3 and 4. To ensure that
the maximum number of two-rifle salvos are available at all times,
the firing order when fired singly is 1, 6, 2, 5, 3, and 4. A lighted
'panel indicates when rifles are loaded and when misfires occur.

c. Due to the close proximity of the paths of the projectiles and

the air turbulence immediately behind the projectile as it leaves the
muzzle, it is not a safe practice to fire all six rounds simultaneously.
They have been known to hit each other and cause premature detonation
or be thrown off target.


a. Target Engagement. - -Since the six 106mm rifles are controlled

through a single system, only one target may be engaged at a time.
Engagement of successive targets may be accomplished rapidly. Rifle
elevation limits are from 10 to +200 They can be traversed manually
400 right or left of center. Target engagement is slowed when the



a. Armament .......................... six (6) 106-mm rifles M40A1C, one (I) cal . . 30 machinegun a. Engine .........
M1919A4, four (4) cal . . 50 spotting riflesM8C, in 106-mm
rifle mount T149E5 Type ......

b. Crew ............................... three (3) Displaceme

Bore .....
c. Engine ............................ Chrysler 8-cylinder V type, valve-in-head, liquid cooled, Stroke .....
model HT-361-318 Compressic
Gross horsE
d. Weight. Fuel ......

Gross (fighting) (approx) Note 1 ........................ 19,050 lb b. Transmission ...

Net (approx) Note 2 ................................... 16,400 lb
Payload (approx) Note 3 . ... . ... . . . . . . .. . ... .. . . . .. . . .. 2,650 lb 3. ARMAMENT

e. Dimensions. a. 106-mm Rifle.

Length ..... " ....................................... 151 in Weight, cor

Width ............................................... 102 1/4 in Rifle only
Height (lowest operable) .............................. 86 in Length (con
Ground clearance .................................... 14 5/8 in Muzzle velc
Shipping cubic ....................................... 747 cu ft Firing mecl
f. Electrical System ................... 24 volts
b. Ammunition . .. '
g. Number of Batteries ............... 2
h. Track Width ....................... 20 in
Radio set AN/PRC-l
i. Tread Width ...................... 93 in age antennas serve as th,

j. Track Ground Contact Length ........ 94 3/16 5. PERFORMANCE

k. Unit Ground Pressure 4.7 psi a. Maximum Allowc

1. Capacities. Low .......

High ......
Fuel tank ............................................ 47 gal Reverse ..
Cooling system ...................................... 7 1/2 gal
Transmission (including oil cooler) ..................... 7 gal b. Maximum Vehicl
Final drive housing (each) ............................. 5 pt
Engine crankcase (including filter) ..................... 7 qt c. Cruising Range (
Wheel hub, rear (each) ............................... 2 pt
Wheel hub, front and intermediate (each) ................ 1 pt d. Fuel Consumj2tio

(Ii ill

POWER PLANT e. Gross Horsepower to Weight Rat

a. Engine ............................ Chrysler HT-361-318 f. Obstacle Limits.

Type ................................................ 8 cylinder, V type, valve-in-head, Grade ascending or descenc

liquid cooled Vertical obstacle (max witt
Displacement ........................................ 360.8 cu in removed) ............. .
Bore ............................................... 4. 125 in Width of ditch vehicle will c
Stroke ............................................... 3.375 in Fording depth (max without
Compression ratio .................................... 7.8 to 1 Fording depth (max with de.
Gross horsepower at 3450 rpm ......................... 180
Fuel ................................................ 80-87 octane g. Depression of Rifles (max) .... .

b. Transmission ...................... Allison XT90-5 cross-drive h. Elevation of Rifles (max) ...... .

ARMAMENT i. Traverse of Turret (max) ..... .

a. lO6-mm Rifle.

Weight, complete (with spotting rifle and accessories) .... 228 lb

Rifle only ........................................... 251 lb NOTES:
Length (complete) .................................... 134.02 in
Muzzle velocity ...................................... 1,650 fps 1. Gross Weight. --Weight of vehicle fu
Firing mechanism, type ............ '.' ................. percussion and electrical maximum allowable payload of cargc
Breechblock, type .................................... interrupted thread
2. Net Weight. --Weight of fully equippE
b. Ammunition ....................... See Appendix I without crew or payload.

COMMUNICATION SYSTEM 3. Payload. --Weight of cargo or passel

Radio set AN/PRC-lO, radio set AN/VRC-8, intercommunication equipment AN/U1C1, and appropri-
;e antennas serve as the communication system for the vehicle.


a. Maximum Allowable Speed.

Low ................................................. 7 mph

High ............................................... 30 mph
Reverse ............................................. 10 mph

b. Maximum Vehicle Speed 30 mph

c. Cruising Range (approx) 125 miles

d. Fuel Consumption (approx) .......... 2.5 mpg

Figure 50. --Ontos and Its Characteristics.

FMFM 9-3

e. Gross Horsepower to Weight Ratio. " 19 HP /ton

f. Obstacle Limits.

Grade ascending or descending (max) ................... 60%

Vertical obstacle (max with front towing shackles
removed) .......................................... 28 in
Width of ditch vehicle will cross (max) .................. 54 in
Fording depth (max without deep water fording kit) ...... 24 in
Fording depth (max with deep water fording kit) .......... 60 in

g. Depression 'Of Rifles (max) ........... 100

h. Elevation of Rifles (max) .......... " 20 0

i. Traverse of Turret (max) ......... " 40 0 left or right


1. Gross Weight. --Weight of vehicle fully equipped and serviced for operation including crew, plus
maximum allowable payload of cargo or passenger9.

2. Net Weight. --Weight of fully equipped vehicle in operating condition with lubricants and water, but
without crew or payload.

3. Payload. --Weight of cargo or passengers, including crew, which may be safely imposed on vehicle.

FMFM 9-3

Figure 51. --Numbering of Ontos Rifles.

Ontos must move to engage a target which is beyond the limits of its
traverse. The six rifles are loaded from outside the vehicle. The
average trained loader is exposed less than 2 minutes in this oper-
ation. Loading time may be reduced to 1 minute if the gunner assists
the loader.

b. Use of Spotting Rifles. ,..-The caliber. 50 spotting rifle and the

106mm recoilless rifle are ballistically matched at ranges up to 1,000
meters. Beyond 1, 000 meters the mismatch is so slight that the
spotting rifle can still be used up to 1,400 meters. At ranges over
1,400 meters spotting is accomplished by the "burst-on-target" method
described in detail in appendix I of this manual.

c. Salvo Fire. --The probability of achieving a first-round hit is

slightly greater when firing a two-round salvo as compared to firing
a single round. This gain in first-round hit probability is considered

FMFM 9-3 .

against the rapid expenditure of loaded rounds and the more frequent
requirements for reloading. Salvo firing of more than two rounds does
not materially increase the hit probability. In two-round firing the
order set forth in paragraph 5105 is recommended to maintain turret
balance. As a general rule, single-round firing is used against sta-
tionary targets. Two-round salvos are desirable at ranges of 1,000
or more meters against moving targets.

d. Training. - - The training of Ontos crewmen in the operation and

firing of the M50A1 is a significant problem and is accomplished solely
within the AT battalion. The objective of the battalion'S basic training
program is to qualify each crewmember in the dutes of loader, driver,
and vehicle commander. An example of a cyclical Ontos basic crewman
training program is contained in appendix J. An example of standing
operating procedures for the conduct of field firing exercises is con-
tained in appendix K.

The Ontos possesses distinct capabilities which permit it to
function as an effective tank killer. Among these are the following:

a. Firepower. --The Ontos can engage targets rapidly and accurately

with an initial high rate of fire. It has a high tank-killing capability.
The rifle's ammunition is capable of penetrating any known armor, and
the weapon has a very high hit probability at ranges up to 1,200 meters.

b. Mobility. --The self-propelled M50 antitank vehicle possesses

excellent mobility in terms of speed, range, cross-country trafficability,
and a high degree of agility. The M50A1 has a maximum speed of
30 mph and a range of approximately 70 miles. It can cross a
ditch of 56 inches, surmount vertical obstacles of 30 inches and turn
in a small radius. These characteristics and capabilities permit rapid
concentration and maneuver of the vehicle prior to and during the en-
gagement of enemy armor. In terms of mobility, the Ontos does not
have the range or speed of the tanks which it opposes. Further, the r"
M50A1 lacks the mass and shockpower of tanks. It is more easily
slowed down by natural and artificial obstacles such as trees and anti-
tank barriers. On the other hand, the Ontos has superior hill climb-
ing ability; it can move through mud and snow that would bog down
tanks, its narrow width permits it to move through defiles and along
narrow trails that would hinder or stop tanks, and its treads outlast
the tank treads during prolonged operations on extremely rocky terrain.

FMFM 9-3

c. Protection. --The Ontos affords some protection for the crew,

engine, and the on-vehicle load of ammunition. This enables it to be
emplaced in advanced positions where it can be prepared to engage
enemy tanks with a degree of protection from small arms fire and shell

d. Flexibility. --Two 106mm recoilless rifles, numbers 2 and 5,

are mounted with . 50 caliber spotting rifles and can be removed from
the vehicle for employment on the ground mount. The ground-mounted
rifle, including the associated fire control equipment and mount, weighs
a total of 405 pounds. The rifle and fire control equipment weigh 288
pounds, the mount weighs 117 pounds. Eighteen ground mounts are
organic to the battalion. Three men are required to dismount a rifle.
They can accomplish this operation in about 1 minute. A detailed
description of the employment of the ground mount is contained in
appendix I of this manual.

e. Ease of Operation. --The Ontos is extremely easy to drive and

shoot. This facilitates troop training and fosters a high degree of

f. Ease of Camouflage. --The low and broken silhouette of the

M50A1 and its overall small dimensions facilitate camouflage. This
complements the weapon's defensive role and ensures its adaptability
to employment for ambush of enemy armor.


The Ontos has limitations which affect its survival as well as

its success in performing its antimechanized role. These limitations
include the following:

a. Visibility. --The field of vision from within the Ontos is 3550

when all hatches are closed. The blind area is to the right rear.
Visibility forward through the gunner's and driver's periscopes is good
but is subject to the limitations inherent in periscope vision. When
operating with all hatches closed, effective all-round vision is difficult
to achieve, not only because of the above limitations, but also because
of the general compactness of the vehicle'S interior. (See fig. 52.)
Operation at reduced speeds. or making prior reconnaissance of the
terrain can reduce the effects of the visibility limitations.

b. Vulnerability. --The overall armor of the Ontos does not provide

a Significant degree of protection. The frontal armor of the vehicle

FMFM 9-3

Figure 52. --Ontos Interior.

can withstand small arms fire at normal angles of attack. The capa-
bility of the armor on the remainder of the vehicle to withstand small
arms fire ranges from approximately 100 to 1, 000 meters. Artillery
fire bursting overhead may cause severe damage to the 106mm rifle
barrels and to the external fire control equipment. However, the Ontos
is so designed that damage to one or more of the 106mm rifles does
not render the remaining rifles inoperable.

c. Reloading. --The necessity of reloading the rifles from outside

the vehicle limits the effective sustained rate of fire, particularly
when rapid and numerous displacements are undertaken.

d. On-Vehicle Ammunition Capacity. - ... The on-vehicle ammunition

capacity is limited to four rounds in the crew compartment, eight
rounds under the rear deck of the crew compartment, and one round
in each of the six rifles. The limitation may be reduced by stowing
additional ammunition at selected firing positions or dumps.

FMFM 9-3

e. Backblast. --The backblast area in rear of the Ontos at the time

of firing is extensive. (See fig. 53.) When a single rifle is fired,
the danger area due to blast and flying particles comprises a triangle
with its apex at the bree ch. This danger area is increased when two
or more rifles are fired simultaneously. The weapons should be fired
only when the danger zone is clear of troops and other obstructions.

(1) Overpressures capable of damaging windows and light struc-

tures up to 300 feet to the rear are produced by firing this weapon.

(2) The backblast is capable of starting fires to the rear of the

vehicle; therefore, care is exercised in the selection of firing pOSitions.

(3) The backblast and resulting dust may also aid the enemy
in locating firing pOSitions. This limitation necessitates frequent and
rapid changes of firing pOSitions as normal procedure.

(4) Early reconnaissance and preselection of main and alternate

firing positions assist in overcoming this limitation.

f. Obstacles. --The effect of natural and artificial obstacles on the

employment of the M50 antitank vehicle is a limiting factor. Manmade
obstacles; i. e., antitank barriers and minefields, seriously limit the
employment of the AT battalion unless they can be bypassed or removed.
The battalion has no organic capability for the removal of obstacles
and must depend upon supporting engineers or supported infantry to do
this job when it is required.

g. Weather. --Extreme weather has an adverse effect on the fire

and maneuver of AT units. Maneuver is restricted by heavy mud and
snow. Both fire and maneuver are severely restricted by fog and/or
reduced visibility. Under conditions of reduced visibility guides on
foot must be employed and the speed of the AT unit is reduced accord-


a. A crew of seven men is desirable for one ground-mounted

106mm rifle. The crew comprises three men to carry the weapon, two
men to carry the mount, and two ammunition carriers. A three-man
crew is adequate when the 1/4-ton truck or a similar vehicle is avail-
able to transport the rifle and its ammunition. The antitank battalion
is not provided with sufficient personnel for complete gun crews when
all ground-mounted weapons are employed. Consequently, when such

FMFM 9-3

r--------- --------, I


"::::? DANGER AREA ~::

L _________ ~

300 FT
__________ J

Figure 53. - -Backblast Area of the Ontos.

employment is contemplated, the augmentation of personnel from other

units for this purpose is necessary. The number of men the antitank
battalion can furnish for each crew varies with the situation.

b. Either the antitank unit commander or the supported unit com-

mander may recommend or request the employment of ground-mounted
rifles. Approval for such requests rests with the task force commander
or with the supported unit commander if the antitank units is attached.
Concurrence in the recommendation for such employment by the anti-
tank unit commander is desirable prior to authorization.

c.' Employment of ground-mounted rifles is authorized only in un-

usual circumstances. Generally, ground-mounted rifles are not em-
ployed when the vehicular-mounted weapons can accomplish the desired
mission. Situations which may indicate the employment of ground-
mounted rifles occur when the following factors exist:
FMFM 9-3

(1) The M50 vehicle is inoperable.

(2) Excellent antitank positions are available but are inaccessi-

ble to the Ontos.

(3) Helicopterborne or other operations render employment of

the Ontos impracticable.

(4) Extensive areas of responsibility require more widely de-

ployed antitank protection than can be attained by the employment of
vehicular-mounted multiple rifles.

d. Disadvantages of employing ground-mounted rifles include the


(1) The reduction of antitank vehicle fire capability.

(2) The reduced mobility as a result of ground-mounted and

emplaced weapons.

(3) The difficulty of providing logistical support for individually

dispersed ground-mounted weapons.

( 4) The inability of the antitank battalion to provide all personnel

required for ground-mounted weapon crews.

FMFM 9-3

5201. GE~RAL

Successful employment of the antitank battalion in antimechanized
operations within the larger framework of the amphibious assault re-
quires advanced preparations and detailed planning. This section dis-
cusses the following aspects of such planning and preparations:

a. Factors influencing antitank unit planning.

b. Intelligence.

c. Estimate of the situation. ...,

d. Plans for employment.

e. Embarkation plan.

f. Landing plans.


Embarkation, rehearsal, and movement to the objective area.

Landing the Ontos.


The following factors are among those considered in planning
for the employment of the antitank battalion in the amphibious oper-

a. Mission and concept of employment of the landing forces.

b. Enemy disposition and capabilities with particular emphasis on

the enemy's mechanized forces.

c. Terrain, weather, and hydrography of the landing area.

d. Antitank forces available.

e. Shipping available.

FMFM 9-3


The broad concept of landing force operations and the initial

concept of antimechanized tactics determine intelligence requirements
for the antitank battalion. Detailed intelligence is needed for prepar-
ation of the initial operation plan and its annexes. Intelligence of the
area of operations, as it affects the antimechanized situation, and
intelligence of enemy mechanized capabilities are prime requirements
during planning.

a. Terrain Intelligence. --Terrain intelligence needed by the anti-

tank battalion during the planning phase includes such information as
relief features, compartmentation, obstacles, vegetation, and communi-
cations. Terrain has a significant influence on the employment of the
antitank battalion and its organization for combat. Terrain intelligence
discloses probable routes of enemy attack, thus permitting selection
of pOSitions from which the battalion can best meet the enemy mech-
anized threat.

b. Weather Intelligence. --During planning, the antitank battalion

requires intelligence of forecasted effects of weather on movement,
visibility, and camouflage. The differing effects of weather on enemy
armor and Ontos employment are also required for planning intelligence.

c. Intelligence of Enemy Capabilities. --Planning for the amphibious

assault requires a sound appreciation of the enemy's armored capabil-
ities. Effective employment of the antitank battalion is assisted materi-
ally by accurate, timely intelligence of enemy strength, disposition and
composition, enemy strategy and armored tactics, and of enemy equip-

(1) Accurate intelligence of: enemy armored strength, disposi-

tion, and composition assists the antitank battalion during planning in
selection of sound courses of action to defeat or contain enemy tank
attacks during the initial assault.

(2) Knowledge of the enemy situation, particularly time and

space factors, may permit employment of the Ontos in direct fire
support of infantry units during the early buildup of combat power

(3) Intelligence of enemy tactics and equipment capabilities and

limitations assists the antitank battalion in selecting the most suitable
courses of action to meet the hostile mechanized threat.

FMFM 9-3


Based on available intelligence and the guidance of the commander's

preliminary estimate, the antimechanized officer with other staff officers
submits recommendations for Ontos employment. Recommendations in-

clude preferred date and hour of landing, tentative allocation of Ontos,
selection of landing sites to support each course of action, and the need
for additional antimechanized units. Based on these requirements, re-
quests are made for shipping and additional antimechanized units. As
the planning progresses, these requests are c.onfirmed or modified as



When the commander's estimate has been completed and a de-

cision made, preparation of the tentative plan for the operation begins.
The AT unit officers partiCipate in the preparation of tentative plans by
advising the staff of the organization which they are supporting. After
higher headquarters completes its tentative plan, the staff of the AT
battalion has a basis for its own planning. The staff then prepares
detailed operation and administrative plans which, when approved by the
commander, are implemented and supervised throughout the operation.
Among the factors which the AT battalion staff considers in submitting
re commendations and preparing plans are the following:
a. Total number of AT units to be employed.
b. Allocation of AT units.
c. Ontos missions.
d. Command relationships.

e. Place and manner of landing.

f. Time of landing Ontosl

g. Coordination with naval gunfire, air, artillery, infantry, and

engineer units.

h. Method of employment.

i. Spe cial measures to be taken for communications, supply, and


FMFM 9-3


The need for specialized landing craft and ships and the time
required for loading and unloading demand detailed planning for the
embarkation and subsequent landing of AT units. Planning is further
complicated by the need for the same shipping by other heavy weapons
and equipment. The selection of shipping and landing craft is greatly
influenced by the availability of ships and craft, by the scheme of
maneuver ashore, by beach characteristics, and by the presence of
offshore obstacles. When shipping assignment has been made, planning
begins with the preparation of embarkation forms to include the number
of AT personnel, vehicles, and equipment to be transported by each


The landing plan for the AT battalion is designed to support

the antimechanized plans of the landing force ashore. Among the
paramowlt considerations in landing the AT battalion are the following:

a. The Enemy Mechanized Threat Ashore. --If it appears that the

enemy tank threat will develop early in the assault, Ontos are landed
ear ly. This is of prime importance if enemy tanks are of sufficient
strength to overcome lighter or less effective antimechanized means
which have been landed earlier. Landing craft availability and beach
clearance progress are the main factors limiting the early landing of
the Ontos. When the need is evident, the craft available, and the
beach clear, the Ontos are landed in scheduled waves. Ontos may be
boated and on call for landing as soon as conditions ashore permit or
when an emergency requirement presents itself.

b. other Antimechanized Means Available. --In determining the need

for landing Ontos, consideration is given to the other antitank means
ashore and on call. If organic weapons of the units ashore, in con-
junction with other available on call means, are capable of defeating
the anticipated tank threat, there is no need to expedite the landing of
Ontos. They may be either boated and on call or nonscheduled.

c. Employment of Friendly Tanks. --The great striking power and

antitank capabilities of tanks normally necessitate their being assigned
a priority for landing with or before Ontos.

:FMFM 9-3



a. Preparation of Equipment. --Prior to embarkation, supplies and

equipment are prepared for loading. They are crated, marked, and

waterproofed as required, and the Ontos are prepared for deepwater
fording. Equipment of the AT battalion used in a landing operation
must be in first class operating condition. Operating personnel ensure
the adequacy and serviceability of all organiC equipment through the
medium of technical inspections and services prior to embarkation.
Scheduled preembarkation inspections are comprehensive and pay great
attention to details. Particular attention is given to every part of the
equipment with emphasis on waterproofing. Fording kits are inspe cted
for completeness and serviceability.

b. Movement to the Embarkation Area. - -Movement of the AT

battalion to embarkation points is accomplished in accordance with
movement orders prescribed in embarkation plans. When the antitank
battalion embarks as a single embarkation team, the embarkation plan
is issued by the battalion commander. If elements of the AT battalion
are integrated into other embarkation teams with other diviSion elements,
orders for movement are issued in the appropriate embarkation plans
of the embarkation team commander concerned. The movement order
of the embarkation plan includes the following items:

(1) Time and date at which each embarkation serial departs

for embarkation pOints.

(2) CompOSition and commander of each serial.

(3) Route to be used by each serial.

(4) Communication matters and location of each command post

(CP) at embarkation points.

(5) Security measures.

(6) Details for moving AT personnel and equipment to be em-

barked in ships loaded by other AT battalion personnel.

c. Loading. --In most cases vehicle crews and/or operators are

embarked with their eqUipment. Once aboard ship they assume respon-
sibility for inspection and maintenance as well as for initial slinging,
loading, and storage. Adequate AT unit supervisory personnel are

FMFM 9-3

located at the ship once loading of equipment begins. Normally, ships

personnel handle slings on the dock and aboard ship. However, when
an Ontos or other equipment is slung, the vehicle commander or oper-
ator assists and ensures that slings are attached so as not to damge
equipment. As early as practicable after loading, the AT battalion
commander ensures that AT unit commanders, assisted by technical
personnel of the ordnance repair platoon and motor transport platoon,
conduct a complete inspection of all embarked equipment. An officer
or senior NCO is designated to carry out this function when AT units
are embarked upon more than one ship.

d. Shipping. --Ontos may be transported to the objective area by

LSTs, LSPs, LPDs, AKAs, or APAs. On the LSD they may be dry
loaded in the well deck or preloaded in landing craft utility (LCU) and/
or landing craft mechanized (LCM) or in a combination of both dry
and pre loaded. Loading Ontos on an AKA is the least desirable. Vehi-
cles so loaded complicate the problems of landing and maintenance and
necessitate the use of slings. This is inherently dangerous since a
normal taut sling can damage the turret of the Ontos and ruin its bore-
sighting. When Ontos must be lifted by sling, this problem can be
alleviated by employing the M -series sling and the expedient sling
spreader bar illustrated in figure 54. Ontos may also be transported
by air or air dropped, though air dropping is considered only as a last
resort. Air dropping normally damages bore sighting to the extent the
effectiveness of the M50Al is severely restricted. The particular
method selected is determined by the landing plans. Figure 9 shows
the capabilities of the various means for transporting the Ontos.

e. Rehearsal. --A rehearsal of the operation is conducted to famil-

iarize AT personnel with the details of tactical and logistical plans.
Rehearsals provide an opportunity to detect and correct errors or in-
adequacies in plans. Key Ontos personnel participate in the rehearsal
to test antitank and communication plans and equipment. Antitank
reconnaissance and liaison personnel, including supporting communication
personnel and equipment, partiCipate fully in the rehearsals even if
conditions prohibit participation of the vehicles. Arrival of the Ontos
in the objective area in proper operating condition is of great impor-
tance. For this reason the vehicles rehearse only if facilities and time
for repairs are available ashore or aboard ship after embarkation.

f. Movement to the Objective Area. --During the movement to the

objective area, AT personnel are thoroughly briefed on all aspects of
the operation, and all equipment is checked to ensure its combat readi-

FMFM 9-3

Figure 54. --Ontos Elevated by Crane Using Sling Spreader.

FMFM 9-3

(1) Briefing of Personnel. --Security regulations usually preclude

detailed briefing of all personnel prior to embarkation. Therefore,
AT personnel are informed of operational details during tl1e movement
to the objective area. Each man in the AT unit must understand his
duties and be thoroughly familiar with the overall plan. He should
know the relationship of his mission to the plans of other antimechanized
units and forces within the landing force. Briefings of AT personnel
emphasize the following:

(a) Mission.

(b) Scheme of Maneuver.

(c) Details of the beach assault.

(d) Procedure for the ship to-shore movement.

(e) Locations and methods of communications with AT com-

mand and liaison personnel and the naval control organization.

(f) Beach conditions, nature of obstacles, beach exits,

terrain inland, and overall terrain trafficability.

(g) Plans for breaching beach obstacles.

(h) Details of missions and objectives of infantry units

which Ontos will support.

(i) Tentative location of initial Ontos assembly area and

details of dewaterproofing.

(j) Plans for location of maintenance and supply facilities


(k) Enemy situation with particular attention to armored

formations and antitank defenses.

(2) Care of Equipment. - -Ontos are loaded so that they are

accessible for servicing during the movement to the objective area.
Daily servicing and final preparation for combat are planned, scheduled,
and carried out in great detail to include the below listed items:

(a) Prestarting checks.

FMFM 9-3



Running engines daily for approximately 10 minutes.

Checking Batteries.

Checking control and linkage to ensure free movements.

(e) Final application of waterproof sealing compound on
D-day minus one.

(f) Constant preventive maintenance on communication equip-


(g) Constant preventive maintenance on armament equipment.

(3) Preparations for Rough \Veather. --Ships embarking Ontos

are equipped with securing chains and! or clover leaves. Chocking
timber is placed on deck between Ontos and used in conjunction with
securing chains to stabilize the vehicles. Dunnage' is placed under
vehicles to prevent slippage. In heavy seas,a continuous watch is
needed to ensure that chains and chocking remain in place.

(4) Test Firing. --All removable vehicular weapons are test

fired during the voyage. Fire control equipment is also tested.

(5) Precautions. --The following precautions are observed during

the movement to the objective area:

(a) Engines are run or refueled only with the permission

of the ship's captain.

(b) Ontos in LSTs are not started, nor are refueling oper-
ations conducted below decks Wlless blowers are operating.
(c) Vehicles are fueled one at a time.

(d) Fire extinguishers are kept at hand and fire precautions

observed when fueling. '1
(e) Personnel move between vehicles with caution when the
ship is underway, particularly in rough seas.

(f) Large tarpaulins are used to ensure that vehicles are

protected from salt spray.
(g) Vehicle radio transmitters are tested only after radio
silence has been lifted.
FMFM 9-3

(6) Final Preparations. --Final preparations for unloading and

operations ashore are completed early enough before landing to allow
AT personnel to accomplish the following:

(a) Top-off oil and fuel tanks.

(b) Secure oil and water cans to be carried on Ontos.

(c) Check for presence of all on-vehicle maintenance (OEM)


(d) Check turret fire control mechanisms.

(e) Install final waterproof sealing.

(f) Check oil reservoir, traverse, and elevation systems.

(g) After radio silence is lifted, test radio equipment.

(h) Equipment operators are briefed concerning the debarka-

tion of their equipment. They must be prepared to go with their equip-
ment. They must be prepared to go with their equipment once it is
off loaded. Chocks must be placed to prevent equipment from shifting
in landing craft. Chocks are removed prior to hitting the beach. As
craft approach the beach, operators must be in their vehicles, have
engines running, and apply brakes to prevent movement as the craft is


a. Landing on Undefended Beaches. --When making unopposed or

lightly opposed landings, unloading is accelerated to reduce the exposure
time of shipping. This may be accomplished by the expedited landing
of assault troops and equipment. Ontos may debark directly from
LSTs onto the beach or cross platoon causeways.

b. Landing on Defended Beaches. - -Against defended beaches it is

necessary to conduct a waterborne deployment of combat units. If
Ontos are needed ashore early in the operation, they may be landed
in small craft. If there is no immediate need for the vehicles ashore,
they may be unloaded during the general unloading period

FMFM 9-3



Effective employment of the antitank battalion in an antimech-

anized operation depends primarily on the tactical missions
assigned to the battalion and its component elements. In this
respect, AT battalion control is always positive regardless of
the command level at which it is exercised. Initially, control
over the AT battalion is centralized to the degree possible, consistent
with the situation. Upon determination of an impending armored
attack, control of the antitank battalion may be passed to the
commander in the threatened area(s}. The commander of the
threatened area can thus exercise positive centralized control
over the AT battalion in the execution of his antimechanized plans.
This section discusses the battalion's organization for combat and
the factors which influence it.


The organization for combat of the antitank battalion is

influenced by the organization for combat of the division. It is ~1
further influenced by the objectives, the scheme of maneuver, terrain,
the enemy armored Situation, and the availability of friendly tanks.
Close and continuous liaison with the division G-2 and with the com-
mander of the division reconnaissance battalion is maintained by the
antitank battalion commander to ensure the timely receipt of pertinent
information concerning the terrain and the enemy situation. The
antitank battalion commander may request the assignment of specific
reconnaissance missions to the division reconnaissance battalion and
air observers.


The antitank (AT) battalion is administratively organized to

permit its employment as an integral unit or to permit assignment of
companies or other units to support infantry regiments or smaller
task groups. However, the AT company requires augmentation of
personnel and equipment from the battalion H&S company to provide
maintenance 'capability in sustained operations. Basically, there are
three prime methods of assigning tactical missions to elements of
the antitank battalion 0 These are direct support, general support and
attachment. The determination of which method to be used is
predicated on the concept of the landing force antimechanized operations.
FMFM 9-3

a. Direct Support. --An antitank unit in direct support is

responsive to the desires of the supported unit commander in the
employment of the Ontos. The command and logistic support of an
antitank unit in direct support remains within its normal channels.
Direct support is normally utilized for a specific antimechanized
plan of operation or a specified period of time.

(1) When elements of the antitank battalion are placed in

direct support of a unit, there is no transfer of command to the
supported unit. The supported unit commander is responsible for
the coordination of the antime chanized defense of his area. His
antimechanized requirements are met except when the overall
antitank requirements of the division take precedence and a change
of mission is directed by the division commander.

(2) Direct support employment provides more flexibility than

does the attachment of antitank units. It also permits a more rapid
readjustment to meet enemy armored threats as they develop.

b. General Support. - -The antitank battalion or its organic units

may be assigned a mission in general support of the division. The
battalion is then responsive to the division commander's orders to
counter an enemy armored threat to the division regardless of where
it might 0 ccur.

(1) In general support, elements of the antitank battalion may

be held in reserve or assigned specific antitank missions and tasks
in support of the division. This method of employment, where the
battalion or a portion of it remains under division control, provides
maximum flexibility and permits the integrated and massed employ-
ment of the battalion against the most dangerous overall armored

(2) When force tank units assigned to the division are sup-
porting an attack, the bulk of the antitank battalion may be held
under division control and assigned general support antitank missions.
In such situations the tanks supporting the attacking infantry provide
the direct support antitank protection within the infantry zones of

c. Attachment. --When attached, the antitank battalion or its

individual companies are assigned to appropriate infantry units under
the command of the infantry commander. This commander is re-
sponsible for the operations of the antitank unit attached to him and
FMFM 9-3

for their required logistic support. When the responsible infantry

commander is the regimental commander, he may further place
antitank units in direct support of or attached to, the battalions of
his regiment. This applies also to an infantry battalion commander
who may place his antitank units in direct support of, or attached to,
his rifle companies. The antitank unit commander acts additionally
as a special staff officer (antimechanized officer) on the staff of the
unit to which he is attached.

(1) Attachment of antitank units tends to reduce flexibility in

the application of the total combat power of the antitank battalion. It
places an additional burden on the commander of the supported unit
for administrative and logistic support. Accordingly, antitank units
are generally attached only when the following exist:

(a) The supported unit is involved in an independent


(b) The supported unit is widely separated from the re-

mainder of the force of which it is a part.

(c) The supported unit requires antitank protection for an

extended period of time.

(2) When antitank units are attached to other units, the re-
lation ship with the attached unit headquarters is the same as with
organic headquarters. The commander of an attached antitank unit
is aSSigned additional special staff duty as antimechanized officer,
and his command post is normally located in the vicinity of the
command post of the supported unit. The antitank officer makes
recommendations for the coordination of the antimechanized fires of
his unit with the antimechanized means of the support unit.


The type of control selected for antitank units is directly

related to the echelon of command being supported. Tactical miss~
ions of general support or direct support and attachment could be
used simultaneously by the landing force as a means to influence the
overall antimechanized operations. The battalion may be placed in
general support of the division. One or more AT companies may be
attached to an infantry regiment. Further, platoons of such companies
can be placed in direct support or further attached to specified
infantry battalions. At each echelon of command the type of control

FMFM 9-3

selected is based on the mission, objectives, scheme of maneuver,

terrain, known enemy intelligence, and the availability of friendly
tanks and other antimechanized means. Among the factors which
influence and/or limit the type of control selected are the following:
a. Influence of Enemy Threat. - -In situations where nuclear
attack is highly probable, a greater degree of separation of antitank
battalion elements is maintained. Where a mechanized attack is
likely even though a nuclear threat exists, concentration of AT battal-
ion resources is increased to a degree capable of coping with the
enemy threat. The degree of separation of tactical units within the
landing force is a crucial factor in antimechanized planning and a
major conSideration in planning the organization for combat of the
antitank battalion. The Ontos is most effective when employed in mass.
Greater numbers of weapons employed together provide depth and
mutual support between vehicles or other antimechanized means. When
employing the Qntos it is necessary to make a basic decision as to
the amount of separation which is desirable or required. This deci-
sion is based upon the disposition of the force as a whole and the

(1) Antitank (AT) units may be attached to infantry units

when the units are separated so that intervening terrain makes it
difficult to shift antitank units from one zone of action to another. AT
units may also be attached when terrain limits enemy armor employ-
ment in strength in the zone of a single infantry unit.

(2) When the enemy has the capability of employing armor

at a point not immediately determinable, if separation between units
permits and if it is consistent with the requirements of the terrain,
Qntos units may be employed in direct support. An Qntos unit in di-
rect support is employed as directed by the supported unit commander
who is responsible for the antimechanized defense of the area. Direct
support employment provides flexibility by permitting a rapid readjust-
ment to meet enemy armored threats as they develop and by permit-
ting overall direction of effort.

(3) When the enemy possesses the capability to employ

armor in strength over a wide frontage, it is generally advisable to
retain antitank units in general support of the ground element. The
antitank battalion retained under division control permits the employ-
ment of its resources throughout the division zone of action to counter
enemy armored threats. A general support mission assumes that
routes of communications between units permit the antitank battalion
freedom of movement required to accomplish its assigned mission.
FMFM 9-3
b. Influence of Terrain. --Terrain usually has the greatest
single influence on the antitank battalion's organization for combat. I
(1) If the terrain affords good trafficability for enemy
tanks throughout the division zone, the bulk of the antitank battalion
is usually centrally located under division control. It is then pre-
pared to move rapidly to predetermined blocking or firing positions
when enemy armor threatens a particular area. Employment of the
antitank battalion depends upon the distance involved, relative posi-
tions of the main battle units, the enemy situation, and trafficability
of available routes.

(2) If the terrain is trafficable for enemy armor in one

portion only, units of the antitank battalion may be positioned in that
zone in direct support or attached to the infantry unit responsible for
the zone.

(3) Terrain throughout the depth of the division area of

operations influences the location of antitank units. AT units are
positioned in order to provide depth for the defense of hostile armor
approaches utilized by the enemy during its attack or counterattack
of the landing force.

(4) Ontos are generally employed in platoon or larger

sized units since this affords the capability for mutual support for
massed surprise fires and for depth to the antimechanized defense.
However, in some terrain employment of AT sections may be neces-
sary to permit coverage of multiple avenues of approach.

c. Influence of Available Antimechanized Means. --The

availability of tank units and other antimechanized means has a con-
siderable influence on the organization of the antitank battalion for
combat. Wnen tanks are available, they are normally assigned a
tactical mission such as direct or general support They are well
suited to the counterattack or other type missions in executing anti-
mechanized operations. Employment of the Oltos in its secondary
role of direct fire support of the infantry at the expense of its being
available to destroy mechanized vehicles should be fully justified. To
ensure the availability of Ontos for their primary miSSions, only the
minimum number of them are engaged in the secondary mission at
any given time. The availability of tanks may tend to dictate the
role of the antitank battalion by limiting its employment to its pri-
mary mission of antimechanized defense.

FMFM 9-3

(1) The overall plan of maneuver is considered in terms

of the main attack, the supporting attack, and the reserve. The
main attack is provided sufficient antitank protection in consideration
of the terrain and enemy situation. In some situations, the main
attack may be made over terrain which is not trafficable to enemy
tanks or the Ontos, while the secondary attack may be made over
terrain which is trafficable, In this instance, the secondary attack
requires more antitank support than the main attack.

(2) If the scheme of maneuver calls for the employment

of the reserve/striking force as an exploitation force, the bulk of the
antitank battalion may be held in reserve or general support and
subsequently committed as antitank protection for the reserve/striking

FMFM 9-3

Section IV:


The success of the antitank battalion depends largely on its
preparations for combat. The sensitivity of the Ontos to terrain and
its lack of any armor comparable to that of a tank dictate that it
engage enemy armor with massed surprise fires from covered and
concealed positions. Accordingly, the employment of antitank units
is predicated upon ambush and surprise tactics. To achieve this end,
antitank un~ts carry out detailed and extensive reconnaissance to de-
termine the mechanized trafficability of the area of operations;
exercise care in the selection and occupation of bivouac and/or assem-
bly areas; provide for security, control, and secrecy on the march;
select and/or prepare numerous possible firing positions; and place
special emphasis on security measures. Such actions are necessary
to ensure that Ontos units are never surprised by the enemy's mecha-
nized and/or air forces. This section discusses the nature of these
operations in detail.


The antitank battalion's command post is the unit's headquar-

ters where the commander and his staff perform their activities. The
AT battalion CP encompasses the facilities required to control tactical
operations and to provide administrative, logistic, and maintenance
support for the battalion. It normally consists of a single echelon
which displaces in three separate groups. It is operated in accord-
ance with the procedures delineated in this paragraph. For a more
detailed discussion of command post operations, see FMFM 3 -1,
Command and Staff Action.
a. Ship-to-Shore Movement. --The ship-to-shore movement of
the AT battalion is normally accomplished by waterborne means.
However, it is conceivable that portions of the CP may be moved
ashore by helicopter. To this end, a skeletonized staff is prepared
to move ashore by helicopter when directed. The waterborne dis-
placement normally moves ashore in two elements, the commanding
officer's group and the executive officer's group.

b. Location. --The command post is established where the

battalion commander can best control his units in the execution of
their assigned missions. Normally, it is near the division CP and

FMFM 9-3

displaces when the division CP displaces. Factors which influence

the selection of the CP area include:

(1) Availability of cover, concealment, and hardstand.

(2) The ability to communicate with subordinate and higher


(3) Presence of necessary access roads for the battalion's

normal supply, resupply, service, and maintenance requirements; and
helicopter landing sites for communications, reconnaissance, dis-
placement of CP elements, evacuation, and emergency delivery of
(4) Defensible terrain which facilitates the employment of
security elements.

(5) Location of other unit CPs in the vicinity of the division CP.

c. Internal Arrangement. - -A Schematic diagram of the general

arrangement of the antitank battalion CP is presented in figure 55.
The S-1 establishes the internal arrangement based on the advice of
the communications officer and the headquarters commandant. In the
process, the following factors are considered:

(1) Dismount points, message drops, pick up points, and heli-

copter landing sites are within the CP's local security lines or within
a readily accessible distance outside the lines where they can be cov-
ered by direct fire.

(2) Maintenance facilities are located in concealed and covered

areas with good hardstand.

(3) Supply and medical facilities are located near the CP en-

(4) Bivouac areas are situated so as to add depth to local

security arrangements.

(5) Principal staff sections are arranged so as to facilitate the

coordination of their activities during hours of daylight and darkness.

FMFM 9-3

S-2 S-3


S-1 S-4





Figure 55. --Example of Arrangement of an Antitank Battalion

Command Post.

FMFM 9-3

(6) Remote communications and integrated wire/radio equip-

ment are as distant from the CP operating area as possible but
within the CP' s local se curity lines.

(7) The message center is located at the natural or most

accessible entrance to the CP.

(8) Facilities are dispersed and dug in to diminish the hazard

from a single round of artillery or mortar fire. For further protec-
tion from higher explosive rounds and in the event of an actual attack
on the CP, fighting holes are constructed adjacent to each operating
tent for those personnel not directly manning the local security lines.

d. Displacement. --The AT battalion CP displaces when required

to ensure effective tactical control in a manner involving the least
possible interruption of operations. The S-3 recommends the new
general location and an appropriate time for displacement. The head-
quarters commandant deSignates the specific time and place for
vehicles to stage. The motor transport officer stages vehicles. Vehi-
cles normally stage on the primary exit road or immediately adjacent
thereto. Three echelons are normally employed: the advance party,
the main command group, and the rear command group. (See fig. 56.)

(1) Advance Party. --The advance party is under the command

of the headquarters commandant. It proceeds to the new CP site,
deSignates the assigned operating areas, and prepares to receive the
main command group. Guides and signs are posted to facilitate the
movement of the main group into the CP without halts on roads.

(2) Main Command Group. --The main command group is the

battalion commander's party. Prior to the departure of this group,
the S -2/3 brief the battalion executive officer on the latest friendly
and enemy situations. Upon departure from the old CP, the executive
officer assumes those command functions designated by the battalion
commander. When the new CP site is in operation, the executive officer
closes the old CP as directed by the commanding officer.

(3) Rear Command Group. --The rear command group is the

executive officer's party. It consists of alternate communication
facilities and the administrative and logistic support facilities of the

FMFM 9-3



Minimum requirements are indicated which may vary as the situation dictates.


Hdqs Cmdt-1 BnCmdr -1 Bn XO-1

H&S Clerk/Driver -1 SgtMaj -1 S-1 Clerk/Driver -1

Security Sec. -3 Admin Chief -1 S-2 Asst -1

Bn Adj -1 S-1 Clerk -1 Asst S-3 0 -1

Comm 0-1 S-2 0 -1 Corpsman -1

Fld Rad Op/Driver -1 S-3 0 -1 Comm Chief - 1

Corpsman -1 Opns Chief -1 Radio Ops -5

S-1 Clerk/Driver -1 Fld Music/Driver -1 S-4 0 -1

S-3 Clerk/Driver -1 Radio Rep -2

S-4 Log Chief -1 Maint 0 -1

Dri ver S-4 - 1 Maint Plt (-)

Med Sec. (-) Mt Plt (-)

Comm Plt (-) Sup Plt (-)

H&S Co Hdqs (-)

Maint Chief -1

Track Veh Rep Tm -4

MTO -1

MT/Driver -1

Supply 0 -1

Mess Sec. -8

Figure 56. --Composition of Echelons of Antitank Battalion

CP Displacing.

FMFM 9-3

e. Operation of the Command Post. --The command post is organ-

ized for continuous operation. Staff sections establish watches to
provide an opportunity for all personnel to obtain necessary rest and
ensure efficient operation. Within the CP staff, sections are respon-
sible for the execution of their normally assigned functions and for:
installation, operation, and first echelon maintenance of equipment
they employ; immediate and continuing digging in and concealment of
their installations; and striking of tents and loading of equipment when
displacement is ordered.

(1) Headquarters Commandant. --The headquarters commandant

is responsible for:

(a) Organization and control of the battalion advance party.

(b) Security of the command post to include: supervision

of proper camouflage and blackout discipline, digging of installations;
dissemination of password and countersign; and instruction of all
security personnel as to their correct use.

(c) Provision of sanitation and messing facilities.

(d) Posting sentries to control traffic and guide visitors

from the dismount point or the helicopter landing site.

(e) Marking the landing site and providing ground guidance

means for landing and launching helicopters.

(f) Selection of new CP sites at or near coordinates des-

ignated by S-3. He coordinates this selection with the S-l and the
communication officer.

(2) Communication Officer. - -The communication officer is

responsible for the operation of the communication center and the
expeditious routing of all messages.
f. Security. --The headquarters commandant is normally respon-
sible for local security and defense of the command post. Local
security is furnished by headquarters personnel within the CP and,
whenever pOSSible, by contiguous elements of the battalion. When
other AT units are available to assist in the defense of the CP, the
CP area is normally divided into sectors. The headquarters comman-
dant is responsible for one sector, and the AT unit commander is
responsible for the other. On such occaSions, overall responsibility

FMFM 9-3

for security of the CP passes from the headquarters commandant to

the battalion commander.

(1) Passive Defense Measures. --Passive defense measures

employed in providing security for the CP include:

(a) Careful selection of terrain.

(b) Individual, vehicle, and facility camouflage.

(c) Digging in and/or sandbagging of facilities.

(d) Employment of guides in place of signs whenever


(e) Rigid traffic control practices. No vehicles are per-

mitted in the CP except when urgently required, and under no circum-
stances to deliver passengers.
(f) Concealment of dismount points from direct observation.

(g) Parking of vehicles in deSignated areas within the

local security perimeter.

(h) Remoting of radios and removal of communication

equipment from the center of the CP.

(i) Screening and diversionary actions to conceal the dis-
placement of the CP. When helicopters are employed, a circuitous
route is selected and diversionary touchdowns may be made if the
approach to the new area is not concealed.
(2) Active Defense Measures. - -Active defense measures
employed in providing security for the CP include:
(a) The posting of security forces by the headquarters
commandant in a perimeter around the CP at such a distance as to
deny enemy small arms fires from being directed into the CP and
prevent ground observation of CP activities by hostile forces.
(b) Supplementing CP security with elements of other AT
units whenever available. Such units retain their organizational integ-
rity and are controlled and employed by their deSignated unit com-

FMFM 9-3

(c) Heads of staff sections ensure that personnel in their

sections are available to augment regularly assigned security forces
and to construct positions as planned by the headquarters commandant
or sector commander.

(3) Conditions of Readiness. --Conditions of readiness are

normally established within the AT battalion CP to control the execu-
tion of security operations. Typical conditions may include:

(a) Condition NORMAL-Attack Improbable

1. Normal operations are conducted during daylight

hours. Interior perimeter positions are partially manned during hours
of darkness by off-duty personnel.

2. During hours of darkness, roving patrols are

established by the headquarters commandant to challenge unidentified
personnel, enforce blackout discipline, and prevent unnecessary noise.

(b) Condition ALERT-Attack Possible With Warning

1. The decision to set condition ALERT is made by

the battalion commander on recommendation of the S-3. The head-
quarters commandant is responsible for disseminating the condition to
all concerned in the CP.

2. Essential work within staff sections continues.

All personnel not-absolutely required for staff duties man defensive

(c) Condition DANGER-Attack Imminent or in Progress

L Condition DANGER is set when information of

impending attack is received prior to the actual attack or an actual
attack without warning is indicated.

2. All security, plus deSignated staff section person-

nel, report to their assigned defensive position. Staff sections retain
only the minimum number of personnel needed to keep the executive
staff sections and communications operative.


Reconnaissance for the antitank battalion is effected concurrently by

the AT battalion, company, and platoon commanders. Normally, the
FMFM 9-3

reconnaissance is conducted in organic transportation. The AT unit

commander brings his Ontos forward to a covered and concealed
assembly area. He then takes his subordinate leaders forward to
evaluate the terrain on which positions will be selected. The recon-
naissance can be expedited when observation aircraft are available
to AT commanders and staff officers. Aircraft can be employed for
visual reconnaissance of assembly areas and firing positions and for
detection of hostile mechanized activity. When time permits, numer-
ous positions are selected laterally and in depth. Emphasis is placed
on selecting areas and firing positions for Ontos which are concealed
and which would not be readily accessible to approaching tanks. In
conjunction with AT positions, adequate routes for entry and egress
as well as movement between position areas are considered. The AT
commander studies and evaluates the ground, noting possible avenues
of hostile mechanized approach and potential firing positions. Bridges
are noted, and fords are selected to be used in the event bridges may
be demolished. The AT commander contacts friendly commanders
within each area to learn their disposition and plans to coordinate
fires to exploit the terrain. The commander notes sites suitable for
friendly observation, prepositioned dumps, and individual ground-
mounted AT weapons.

Route reconnaissance includes reporting on road surfaces, gradients,

condition of bridges and fords, probable bottlenecks, detours and
bypasses subject to shelling, minefields, and other obstacles. Route

reconnaissance is continuous. It is effected concurrently with other
requirements of the commander's reconnaissance. Reconnaissance
for routes is initated in advance of the landing of the Ontos and is
executed in detail to ensure efficient entry into combat. Complete
familiarity with all aspects of the terrain over which the AT unit is
to operate is vital.

a. A good route for Qntos employment causes illmlmum conflict

with infantry units, offers rapid transit, permits travel at night or
day, provides cover and concealment, and allows for redeployment
should the enemy threat be altered.

b. To control Qntos movement, a series of thrust lines or pre-

determined checkpoints for position reports, routes, and likely
avenues of approach may be utilized. Changed frequently, such a
system precludes extensive use of coordinates, reduces the necessity
for communications, and offers maximum security.

FMFM 9-3


A bivouac is a rear assembly area where AT units rest and pre-

pare for further movement. Although in a bivouac area the possibility
of contact with the enemy, except by air, is relatively remote, normal
security measurers are taken. An assembly area is an area where
AT units assemble to organize and complete preparations for an anti-
mechanized operation. In this area, the AT unit services and repairs
vehicles, effects resupply, and feeds troops.

a. Desirable Characteristics. --Desirable characteristics of assem-

bly areas for AT units include the following items: (See figs. 57 and 58.)

(1) Concealment from air and ground observation.

(2) Cover from direct fire.

(3) Hardstand and drainage.

(4) Good exits and entrances and adequate internal roads or


(5) Space for dispersion of organic elements.

(6) Ready access to logistical support and service units.

Figure 57. - -Requirements for an Antitank Assembly Area.

FMFM 9-3

Figure 58 --Size of an Antitank Assembly Areao


b. Occupation of Assembly Areas. --Upon the arrival of the AT

battalion at an assembly area, it is essential that units move off the
road and clear the route of march without halting. (See fig. 59.)
The posting of guides J the selection of routes, and the allocation of
areas are all done with this in mind. This requires aggressive action
on the part of guides and close supervision by commanders and staff
officers. Entrances into and routes within the assembly area are
improved insofar as practicable. In designating locations within the
area, the positions of AT units within the march column is an impor-
tant consideration. Areas are arranged so that antitank units can coil up,
if necessary. (See fig. 60.) Measures are taken to ensure that stalled
vehicles can be quickly bypassed.
FMFM 9-3



Figure 59. --Movement into Assembly Areas.

c. Security in Assembly Areas. --Security in assembly areas is ob-
tained by tactical disposition of troops, use of natural and artifical obsta-
cles (including mines), local security measures, reconaissance, and the
establishment of blocking positions and observation or listening posts
covering all key terrain features and likely avenues of enemy approach.
It m.ay be desirable for AT units to establish liaison with frontline units.

FMFM 9-3

Figure 60. --Coi1i~g Up.

d Communications in Assembly Areas. --Communications for AT

units in a bivouac or assembly area consist of messenger, wire, radio,
and visual means. Normally, radio operation is minimized. For
security purposes, greater dependence is placed on wire and messen-

e. Resupply. --In bivouacs resupply of all classes of supply is ac-

complished if sufficient time is available. In an assembly area empha-
sis is placed on resupply of ammunition, fuel, and lubricants. This
FMFM 9-3

resupply is closely supervised to ensure that all Ontos have pre-

scribed levels of supply prior to combat operations. When an assem-
bly area is occupied for an extended period of time, additional re-
supply is effected.

(1) Ammunition is brought forward by organic vehicles, and

all Ontos are replenished. When it is necessary for the battalion to
have its full basic load, a turnaround will have to be made or addi-
tional vehicles provided as required. In such cases, ammunition
dumps must be established in the projected area of operations and all
personnel indoctrinated as to their location.

(2) Company refuelers meet Ontos in the assembly area and

top off all vehicles. Refuelers then proceed to the reflleling point,
top off themselves, and return to their respective companies.

f. Maintenance and Evacuation. --When the AT unit is in a bivouac

or assembly area, Ontos inspection and maintenance are among its
primary considerations. All commanders, Ontos crews, and main-
tenance personnel do everything possible to ensure efficient vehicular
operation. Maximum effort is devoted to completing those mainten-
ance checks and repairs that cannot be properly accomplished during
periods of combat. All engines and systems are thoroughly checked
All weapons and communication equipment are inspected, cleaned, and
put in the best possible condition. Vehicle crews accomplish required
1st echelon maintenance. Contact teams from the ordnance repair
platoon move forward to perform required organizational (2nd echelon)
maintenance. Vehicles beyond the capabilities of such teams are
evacuated to the service battalion by the most expeditious means
available. Three M62 wreckers are available in the motor transport
platoon for this purpose. When the tactical situation permits an
Ontos may be used to recover another Ontos.

g. Departure From Assembly Area. - -When the AT unit is to move

from an assembly area, its commander issues a warning order. Care
is taken so that AT units do not move out too early. The commander
plans the departure so that the IP may be crossed at the proper time
without halting. Individual Ontos move directly from the assembly
area to their proper place in column and keep moving. (See fig. 61.)


Antitank units are normally directed to march to their next desig-

nation on a deSignated route within a specified period of time. .In
order to ensure completion of the march within the allotted period of
FMFM 9-3



Figure 61. --Departing From Assembly Area.


time, traffic control personnel are posted at key points along the ~I
route to keep all antitank elements on the proper route and to mini-
mize delays caused by other columns, civilian or refugee traffic,
congested areas, or difficult stretches of road. A maximum speed is
prescribed for Ontos in a march column. Normally this would be 10
miles per hour. This speed may be included in the AT unit SOP or
may be published as part of the unit march order. This prescribed
maximum speed is based on the maximum sustained speed of the
slowest vehicle in the column. It is not normally exceeded by any
vehicle in the column, even when closing gaps or making up for lost
time. M50s which drop out of the column for any reason regain their
position in column only by passing units which have halted and not by
passing or doubling moving columns.

a. Vehicle Commander. --Each Ontos vehicle commander is respon-

wible for the proper conduct and movement of his vehicle. His re-
sponsibilities include the following:

(1) Ensuring that the vehicle maintains proper pOSition in the


(2) DeSignating a crew member to control traffic and to assist

passing traffic when his vehicle is halted.

FMFM 9-3

(3) Ensuring that his Ontos does not pass any moving vehicle
or column in regaining its position after being required to stop for

(4) Supervising maintenance and service of the Ontos at halts.

(5) Repeating signals passed back along the column.

b. March Procedures. --The following rules assist Ontos comman-

ders in ensuring proper procedures on the march:

(1) Start the engine on signal from the AT unit commander and
keep alert for the command to move out.

(2) Move out slowly and allow the vehicle ahead to gain its
proper distance before normal speed is reached.

(3) Keep within the lane of the column unless required to

give way or to pass other traffic.

(4) Maintain an even driving pace, increasing and de creasing

speed gradually.

(5) Regain proper distance from the Ontos ahead by gradual

changes in speed.

(6) Watch the Ontos ahead for changes in direction, traffic

hazards, column signals, etc.

(7) Shift into the proper gear when approaching a hill or a

slow stretch of road.

(8) Keep position in column unless ordered or signalled to

pass other units.

(9) Obey traffic signals, signs, and markers except when

otherwise instructed.

(10) If possible, move a disabled vehicle off the road to the

right and Signal the succeeding vehicles to pass.

(11) Move as far as possible off the road or to the right side
of the road before halting.

FMFM 9-3

(12) Stop the engine on proper signal or if the vehicle is to

stand longer than a few minutes.

(13) Wait for the command before dismounting at halts.

(14) Keep to the off-road side of the vehicle and off the
traveled side of the road when dismounted.

c. Procedures During Halts. --At halts, Ontos unit commanders

ensure that the following are accomplished:

(1) Traffic control personnel are posted to the front and rear.

(2) Correct distance between vehicles is maintained since AT

units should not close up at the halt. )

(3) All vehicles and personnel remain well on the right side
of the road and keep the traveled portion of the road clear at all times.

(4) Ground and air se curity is maintained.

(5) Crew maintenance is performed by the crew of each Ontos .

(6) Ontos personnel are alert to receive and relay Signals for
the resumption of the march.

(7) Maintenance personnel check the mechanical condition of

the Ontos as appropriate.

(8) All Ontos move out at the same time after the halt.

d. Security Procedures. --The intentions of the antitank battalion to

move are concealed from the enemy if at all possible. Routine opera-
tions are maintained up to the time of movement with no apparent
decrease or increase in activity. Radio transmissions continue at
average rates unless radio silence has been directed. Movement of
vehicles is kept to a minimum.

(1) The commander of the march column is responsible for

maintaining security throughout the movement. Prior to movement,
he ensures the projected route has been thoroughly reconnoitered for
psssible enemy activity. Security on the march may be provided by
covering forces and advance, flank, and rear guards or by other
elements of the landing force. Airborne observers are employed when

FMFM 9-3

available to assist in preventing enemy me chanized forces from

surprising Ontos units on the march.

(2) While on the march and at halts, each Ontos vehicle is

assigned a primary sector of responsibility for observation. Such
sectors are assigned in a pattern to provide all-round observation by
the vehicles of the AT unit.

(3) March outposts and blocking positions may have to be

established when AT units halt for considerable periods of time.


a. General. --In the execution of the antimechanized operation,

Ontos may employ ready, cover, primary, alternate, and supplemen-
tary positions. (See fig. 62.)

(1) Ready Position. --A ready position is a protected area

occupied by an AT platoon or section while the battle is developing.
It is located so that the AT unit can move quickly to the problem
area or to assigned firing positions. The employment of ready positions
provides flexibility and permits the rapid massing of fires.

(2) Cover Position. --Cover pOSitions are pOSitions providing

cover and concealment to the individual Ontos or AT section at or
near the firing pOSition. The Ontos moves from a ready position to
its cover pOSition when it appears that an enemy tank attack is
imminent. Normally, a minimum of one crewmember dismounts at
an observation point, and the crew remains in readiness to move the
M50 into a firing pOSition when a target within range has been Sighted

(3) Primary Position. --The primary firing pOSition is the

pOSition from whivh the Ontos plans to execute its assigned fire

(4) Alternate Position. --The alternate firing pOSition is another

position from which the Ontos may execute its assigned fire mission.
The fluid nature of antimechanized operations may necessitate the
selection of more than one alternate firing position.

(5) Supplementary POSition. --The Supplementary firing pOSition

is a position from which the Ontos can execute a fire mission other
than its primary fire mission. Normally, such a pOSition is designed
to provide additional AT protection to the flanks and rear.

FMFM 9-3

execution of primary fire mission. 'J\~

execution of primary fire mission.



cover and concealment to Ontos
section to rear of firing positions.


area to rear for AT platoon or


Figure 62. - -Types of Ontos Positions.

b. Selection of Positions. --The attainment of mutual support,

flanking fire, and depth is sought in the selection of Ontos unit
positions. The employment of M50s in pairs will ensure a better
overall antitank performance.

(1) Mutual Support. --Mutual supporting M50s cover terrain

irregularities and provide covering fire for each other during displace-
ments. Additionally, the demountable feature of the recoilless rifles
provides the capability of additional depth and wider coverage.

FMFM 9-3

(2) Flanking Fire. --Positions affording flanking fire are

desirable because of the surprise factor, the increased vulnerability
of the enemy tank target, and the difficulty on the enemy's part in
locating such fire and maneuvering against it.

(3) Depth. --AT units deployed in depth provide protection from

flanking maneuvers by the enemy's tanks and assist in providing
mutual support. Such deployment of Ontos may cause a hostile tank
attack to spend itself before accomplishing a break through.

c. Extent of Position Selection. --Whenever practicable, numerous

primary, alternate, and supplementary firing positions are selected.
These should extend both laterally and in depth. (See fig. 63.)
SucceSSive series of positions in depth permit Ontos to intially engage
the enemy's tanks from the AT units most forward pOSitions. Sub-
sequently the Ontos employ fire and maneuver to displace to successive
pOSitions. Such tactics are designed to inflict maximum damage to the
enemy's tanks without forcing Ontos units to become fixed or deCisively

d. Factors InfluenCing Selection of Positions. --The selection of

Ontos firing positions is influenced by the most critical routes of
approach for the enemy armor, the availability of sufficient alternate
and supplementary firing pOSitions, the nature of the terrain, the
miSsion, security requirements, and the feasibility of adequate logis-
tic support. In selecting AT positions, the AT commander maintains
the closest possible coordination with infantry commanders to ensure
that positions are integrated into the overall. antimechanized plan for
the area. In addition, the AT commander takes steps to ensure that
the following are accomplished:

(1) AT positions are chosen prior to the contemplated action

so that they may be properly prepared.

(2) Individual vehicle and unit positions take maximum advan-

tage of cover and concealment.

(3) Positions afford a back blast area free of troops and


(4) POSitions selected for Ontos complement the plans for

supporting fires and reinforce natural and manmade obstacles.

FMFM 9-3

Figure 63. --Ontos. Employed Laterally and in Depth.


a. Local Security. --Battalion or company-sized AT units are

capable of maintaining their own security. However, individual Ontos
crews are incapable of providing the required degree of local security
against enemy infantry. Therefore, other units in the area assist in
maintaining local security for individual section or platoon-size units.
This assistance is critical when AT units occupy pOSitions on the
flanks or forward of the battle position of defending troops. When so
deployed, extensive illumination and preplanned protection fires are
generally requested

FMFM 9-3

b. Security Measures. --An AT unit exercises security measures

such as camouflage, obstacles, and observation against hostile ground
and/or air attack. Ontos must be prepared to take evasive action at
all times and to employ passive defense measures to escape detection
and attack by hostile air.

FMFM 9-3



In an antimechanized operation, Ontos are employed in the greatest

possible mass and echeloned in depth consistent with the situation.
They utilize speed, mobility, and flanking firepower in the exe cution
of their antitank missions. They avoid frontal engagements of hostile
tanks which have heavier armor and longer range weapons. The anti-
tank battalion is employed as part of the division antimechanized
system. Its operations are coordinated with those of the other combat
support means such as air, artillery , naval gunfire, and tanks. The
Ontos firing positions and assembly areas are coordinated with the
infantry in order to provide close -in-protection for vehicles. This
section outlines the tactical principles and discusses the employment
of the antitank battalion on the battlefield in the antimechanized


All AT units are landed as soon as possible after the beach area
is cleared of obstacles which would hinder their movement regardless
of whether armor is reported in the area or not. Ontos can perform
the role of counterlanding weapons, carry out close direct fire support
missions against targets inland, and protect the beach from hostile
armor during the critical period of the initial phase of the amphibious

a. The capabilities and limitations of the Ontos dictate that its

employment be basically defensive in nature. The Ontos is not an
armored spearhead vehicle.

b. Since hostile mechanized forces attack in mass, it is necessary

that they be met with massed fires. Accordingly, Ontos are employed
in a manner which permits the weight of the defensive effort to be
placed in the path of the approaching attacks. This ability to achieve
mass is influenced largely by the quality and timeliness of intelligence
upon which a decision can be made to move sufficient Ontos units to
positions of advantage and the ability of subordinate units to move,
select and occupy positions, and shoot.

FMFM 9-3

c. Ontos movements are pre ceded by as detailed and as complete

reconnaissance of the operating area as is possible. The AT battal-
ion S-3 is responsible for reconnoitering routes well in advance of
Ontos movements and ensuring that obstacles are removed and that
selected routes are trafficable. Normally, this reconnaissance is
effected by S-3 personnel employing organic transportation. When
available, aircraft may be employed. Time permitting, ground means
are preferred and produce more detailed and reliable results. Selec-
tion of firing positions is based upon as complete a ground reconnais-
sance as possible by AT unit commanders.

d. The vulnerability of the Ontos and the requirement for exposing

the loader favor targets being engaged from well concealed and covered
positions. Preselected primary, alternate, and supplementary posi-
tions, accessible over covered and concealed routes, should be

e. When an Ontos fires, it must be ready to execute a rapid dis-

placement to new firing pOSitions. When an Ontos engages enemy
tanks from the front, it must displace immediately after firing its
salvo. When it engages tanks from the flank, it is normally still
concealed and may take the calculated risk of firing other salvos be-
fore displacing. Alternate pOSitions, previously prepared and supplied,
afford the Ontos an excellent opportunity to rearm and refuel from
prepositioned supplies.

f. Ontos are placed to deliver fires against the flanks of hostile

mechanized vehicles whenever possible. Ontos fire is readily discern-
able, and the threat which they present to tanks is such that they
will be brought under immediate attack. For this reason positions
selected are more secure when intervening terrain complicates the
fire and maneuver of enemy tanks 0

g. Mutual support and depth are sought for Ontos positions o

Mutual support lets one vehicle cover the other's dead space caused
by terrain irregularities. Depth provides flank protection and mutual
support and can limit a penetration before it reaches vital areas.
ASSignment of the same sector of fire to two Ontos employed in depth
is generally advisable 0 This provides for the following:

(1) Improved communications.

(2) Better control.

FMFM 9-3

(3) Easier recovery.

(4) Added depth.

(5) Massed fires.

(6) Organic fire and maneuver.

h. Tying down all units to specific locations before a threat has

developed is poor employment. Indiscriminate attachment is avoided.

i. When the hostile mechanized threat is remote, Ontos are not

employed as roadblocks. (Such periods provide excellent opportunity
for preventive maintenance.)

j. In the attack, Ontos platoons follow the attacking forces by

bounds, taking advantage of covered and concealed areas.

k. When advancing, Ontos sections displace so that individual

M50s can cover one another by fire and maneuver.

l. Ontos in firing positions are integrated into the supported units

defensive plan. Ontos and infantry units provide mutual support to one

m. The employment of Ontos is integrated with other antimechan-


ized means such as tanks, antitank barriers, naval gunfire support,

,and air and artillery as well as with organic antitank means of
.infantry elements.


Support that the antitank battalion provides the Marine division in

its antimechanized operation may be considered in terms of the am-
phibious assault or a mobile or area-type defense.

a. The Amphibious Assault. --Ontos are landed as early as pos-

sible in the amphibious assault to protect the landing force against
hostile mechanized attack. Once ashore, they generally occupy posi-
tions to protect the flanks of the landing force and the beach area
from hostile mechanized attack. As the landing force progresses
inland, attacking infantry are followed by the supporting antitank
unit(s) which are prepared to counter enemy armored attacks. When
the threat of hostile armor attack is not imminent, the Qntos may
perform its secondary mission and be employed as an assault guno
FMFM 9-3

Ontos are capable of delivering effective direct fire against pillboxes

and bunkers. If enemy armor threatens the beachhead while Ontos
are engaged in the assault fire role, they revert immediately to their
primary mission.

b. Mobile Defense. --When hostile mechanized attack is imminent,

the division may adopt a variation of the mobile defense to repel it.
The Ontos may be employed in the security echelon, in. the forward
defense/fixing area, or with the reserve/striking force.

(1) Security Echelon. --When used with the security echelon,

Ontos are employed in blocking pOSitions to delay the advance of
hostile mechanized forces. Such positions must be selected with ex-
treme care to ensur~ that terrain does not permit hostile armor to
bypass or outflank AT units. The Ontos with its firepower and
mobility is adaptable to such employment. It possesses the capability
to engage enemy tanks at long ranges and can then withdraw rapidly to
the main battle area. It can also cover the withdrawal of security
force elements by fire. The vulnerability of Ontos to enemy infantry
dictates that it be provided close infantry support during the execution
of such missions.

(2) Forward Defense. --Antitank units supporting forces in the

forward defense have a containing/destructive mission. They engage
hostile mechanized forces from covered and concealed positions and
assist in destroying and canalizing the movement of enemy armor into
predetermined killing zones where the enemy may be attacked by the
reserve/striking force. Other missions for Ontos in the forward
defense area include the following:

(a) Assuming a blocking pOSition to cover the flank of a

supported unit.

(b) Blocking natural avenues of approach that would restrict

advancing mechanized troops; i. e., bridge or defile.

(c) Covering gaps between units by fire.

(d) PartiCipating as part of a mechanized patrol to cover

extended gaps between landing force units.

(e) Establishing a firm fire support base to cover friendly

tanks as they move forward to engage the enemy.

FMFM 9-3

(f) Covering an area within a killing zone where their

fires assist in containing the enemy and permit the reserve/striking
force to launch its counterattack.

(3) Striking Force. --The employment of antitank unit(s) in

support of the reserve/striking force is similar to other offensive
operations. Antitank unit(s) may provide antimechanized protection for
the reserve/striking force and its elements in assembly areas and
while moving to contact. Ontos units may:

(a) Precede the advance of other reserve/striking force

elements to the killing zone. In such a case AT units occupy posi-
tions from which their fires assist in containing, delaying, and re-
stricting the advance of enemy tanks.

(b) Advance simultaneously with the reserve/striking force

unit engaged. In this instance Ontos provide a base of fire to the
flanks of the reserve/striking force and cover the maneuver of friendly

(c) Follow the advance of the reserve/striking force.

When this is done, AT units provide fire support and protect the
flanks and rear of the reserve/striking force.

c. Area Defense. - -\\'hen the force beachhead line (FBHL) has been
reached, the landing force may execute an area-type defense prelimi-

nary to subsequent operations ashore. When employed in support of
such operations, antitank units are disposed laterally and in depth.
Positions extend from well forward to the beach in the rear. From
these positions Ontos may move into any area to oppose enemy armor
as a part of the following elements:

(1) Security Forces. --When the enemy possesses armor

and the situation permits, AT units are assigned to the security forces.
Ontos employ ambush and blocking tactics to delay the advance of the
enemy. They participate in mechanized patrols forward of the security
forces to locate the enemy. When the hostile force attacks, Ontos
engage them at maximum range and cover by fire the withdrawal of
security force elements to the main battle position.

(2) Battle Position. --Positions are occupied that cover

avenues of approach into and within the battle position. Some antitank
units can be initally assigned forward pOSitions while the bulk of the
units protect the flanks and rear. These AT units are ready to move
into prepared positions to fire on hostile armored penetrations.
FMFM 9-3

(3) Reserve. --Antitank units may be assigned to support

reserve elements. Additionally, they may be assigned a tactical
mission of general support to provide antitank protection for the divi-
sion as a whole and to increase the flexibility of employment of anti-
mechanized means. In this case, Ontos are centrally controlled. They
are held in assembly areas, deployed laterally and in depth, and pre-
pared to occupy previously organized positions that support the plan of
the reserve infantry unit.


a. The disparity between the armor and armament of a tank and

that of an Ontos is an important factor influencing the antitank tactics
employed against hostile mechanized forces. This factor of armament
disparity emphasizes the importance of taking maximum advantage of
cover, concealment, and supplementary and alternate firing positions
and employing the elements of surprise and mass. Exchange of fire
with tanks from exposed positions is avoided when practicable.

b. When engaging hostile tanks, AT units distribute selective fires

among the attacking tanks, destroying or immobilizing as many as
possible. Immobilization of a tank is usually easier to accomplish
than total destruction. Total destruction frequently depends on pene-
tration of heavy armor while immobilization can be achieved by
attacking the more vulnerable tracks and suspension system. The pri-
mary objective is to defeat a large number of tanks rather than to
destroy a few. Once stopped, a tank can be dealt with at a conven-
ient time by any of a wide choice of weapons.


a. The Ontos may be employed as an effective ambush weapon.

In the ambush there is no requirement to hold an aSSigned position or
a piece of terrain for any given period of time. Employment of the
Ontos is based on hit and run tactics designed to inflict maximum
damage without fixing the Ontos unit or causing it to become decisively
engaged. The successful ambush requires suitable terrain and a good
plan. Such terrain should provide the following:

(1) Commanding ground with good cover and concealment.

(2) Natural obstacles.

(3) Limited road nets for enemy use.

FMFM 9-3

(4) Limited cross-country movement for enemy tanks.

(5) Defiles which hamper the enemy.

(6) Good observation of the enemy's approach.

(7) Long fields of fire for antitank weapons.

(8) Opportunities for placing obstacles and employing demoli-


(9) Opportunities to employ massed supporting fires of air,

artillery, and naval gunfire.

(10) Adequate alternate and supplementary positions.

(11) More than one withdrawal route.

(12) Opportunity for further delay if it is necessary to fall back

to avoid the loss of an ambush force.

b. Antimechanized ambushes are most effective when set in defiles

where the surrounding ground affords adequate cover and concealment
for the ambush force. The most suitable defiles are those that can be
easily blocked at both ends. The sides of the defile should be suffi-
ciently impassable to prevent the enemy from circumventing the
killing zone or from mounting an attack from some other direction
against the ambush site.

c. The commander of the ambush unit requires excellent observa-

tion of the killing zone and the approaches to it in order to determine
the appropriate time to issue orders to commence fire, cease fire, or

d For an ambush to be successful, surprise must be complete.

This demands strict fire discipline as well as camouflage. The need
for fire diSCipline demands that fire control measures be employed.
The first element necessary is radio discipline that ensures clear
transmissions of fire commands and orders. Prearranged signals
such as pyrotechnics and hand and arm signals can be planned for use
in the event of radio failure. Preplanned and reconnoitered routes,
rendezvous points, and alternate positions aid control during displace-
ment from primary ambush positions.
t I

FMFM 9-3

e" Security is maintained throughout the ambush operation and

during the displacement. Security forces, coupled with the proper use
of barriers, are utilized to prohibit enemy entry into the ambush site
at points other than those leading into the killing zone. Infantry ele-
ments may be required to provide adequate local security for ambushes
established beyond the battle area. During displacements, units provide
their own route security by leapfrogging vehicles and units from one
covering position to another. All elements of the ambush require mo-
bility comparable to that of the Ontos. Supporting infantry may be
taken to the position in tracked vehicles and withdrawn by the same
means or by helicopter. The helicopter is not generally desirable in
establishing an ambush inasmuch as it may compromise the element
of surprise.

f. Naval gunfire, artillery, and close air support employed in con-

junction with direct fire antitank weapons enhance the effectiveness of
the ambush o Supporting air possesses the capability to intercept
enemy reinforcements and prevent their interference with the ambush
operation. Supporting arms may be especially important in providing
fires to cover the withdrawal from the ambush.


a. Roadblocks are in many ways similar to ambushes. In the

ambush there is seldom an intention to hold the ground whereas the
roadblock is a position which is to be held for the purpose of denying
ground or routes to the enemy for brief or extended periods. Accord-
ingly, positions are organized in greater detail and increased emphaSis
is placed upon obstacles. Roadblocks include mines, abatis, tetrahe-
drons, or similar devices. All barriers and obstacles are covered by
both small arms, and antitank fire.

b. Roadblocks are organized laterally and in depth to prevent

envelopment of the overall position. Infantry is interspersed through-
out the position while the Ontos are positioned where they can fire on
approaching vehicles. These positions take advantage of concealment
when possible and permit attack of the flanks of the enemy. The
critical area immediately in front of the roadblock is covered by
available naval gunfire, artillery, and air in conjunction with other
available antitank means. Provision is made for illumination to ensure
that the position is not overrun by a surprise night attack.

FMFM 9-3


Composition of mechanized task forces vary with specific operations

according to mission, terrain, enemy situation, and units available.
When conditions favor the employment of mechanized task forces, a
platoon or company of Ontos may be assigned to provide antimechanized
protection to the force. Ontos operating on an independent mission of
this type require appropriate fuel, ammunition, supply, and mainte-
nance services. When so employed, the AT company is accompanied
by a refueller, wrecker, and a vehicle repair team from the ordnance
repair platoon. Ammunition moves with the company in organic trans-
portation. During marches, Ontos move with the main body or may
be employed as flank security. When the force deploys, antitank units
seek positions from which they can provide protection against hostile
armor envelopments. When the task force is stationary, Ontos are
deployed to add depth and breath to the antitank defense. In the
antimechanized operation mechanized task forces may be employed to
accomplish the following:

a. Conduct a rapid or spoiling attack on forward enemy elements.

b. Linkup with helicopterborne troops.

c. Effect a breakthrough to landing force elements cut off by a

hostile armor penetration.

d. Act as a screening force to cover the landing force.


a. The antimechanized battlefield is porous, creating an extensive

requirement for reconnaissance and counterreconnaissance. Units
assigned to active reconnaissance or counterreconnaissance missions
should be mobile and strong in firepower since they may take part
in meeting engagements. Ontos are not normally used in extensive
patrolling when tanks are available; however, they may be employed as
part of a reconnaissance in force carried out by a mechanized task
force. If the patrolling unit is sufficiently large and strong in tanks,
the Ontos can be assigned to the patrol to lend additional antimechan-
ized strength. Mechanized patrols are employed in these roles to
accomplish the following:

(1) Maintain contact with the enemy forward of the security


FMFM 9-3

(2) Cover the flanks and rear of the landing force.

(3) Cover gaps between separated units on the battlefield.

(4) Maintain contact with friendly elements.

b. The Ontos is well suited to the counterreconnaissance mission.

By use of ambush tactics it engages enemy forces infiltrating the
friendly battle area. When performing counterreconnaissance and
screening missions, it is necessary to integrate Ontos with the anti-
mechanized operations of infantry, engineers, and tanks. This inte-
. grated antimechanized force should have on call air support for de-
struction and observation missions as well as artillery and naval
gunfire to attack hostile mechanized forces.


The basic fundamentals involved in the offense and the defense at

night are the same as those that prevail for daylight; however, at
night thE:: problem of control and coordination is greater. Infantry and
other units are positioned closer together, and movement is slower.
Target acquisition and hit probability for antitank weapons are drasti-
cally reduced. These difficulties can be overcome, to a degree, by
skillful employment of illumination. When illumination is not available,
the Ontos attacks only known or suspected point targets on which the
weapons have previously registered. When an armored threat exists,
illumination should be made available on an on call basis for Ontos
units covering the likely avenues of approach.


Antitank units assist the entry of rifle elements into built-up areas
by occupying pOSitions to fire overhead or through gaps in friendly
lines. During fighting within built-up areas, antitank units occupy
pOSitions outside of the city to assist in isolating the area. They pre-
vent enemy armored vehicles from entering or leaving the city. If the
far edge of town cannot be covered by fire from positions outside the
town, Ontos may be moved through the town in support of the attack.
Within built-up areas they are not normally used without close cover-
ing support by infantry.

FMFM 9-3


In the attack of a river line, elements of the antitank battalion are

usually attached to, or in direct support of, regiments making the
crossing. Platoons may be further attached or used in direct support
of assault battalions. Antitank weapons support an assault crOSSing
by firing on enemy targets on the opposite bank. Priority of fire is
given to hostile armor and crew-served weapons. Specific target
areas are assigned to each weapon. Following the crOSSing of
friendly armor, high priority is given to the crOSSing of antitank units.
Once antitank units are on the far shore and the initial objective is
seized, these units are employed to provide antimechanized pro-
tection to the attacking force. The river crossing operation is exec-
uted in a manner similar to the beach assault.


Some situations may permit employment of Ontos in the attack of

fortified positions. Ontos, firing from covered and concealed posi-
tions, provide cover to assault elements. When the enemy has the
capability to employ tanks to assist in the defense of its strongpoints,
antitank units are deployed in depth to react readily to the hostile
tank attack. Where sally ports exist through which the enemy may
launch armored counterattacks, Ontos are positioned to counter these
likely avenues of approach. They may also be used to cover the
exposed flanks of infantry units assaulting a fortified position.


In emergency situations when tank support for friendly forces is

not available, Ontos may fulfill, to a limited degree, the landing
force's requirements for mobile firepower and shock action. This
emergency use, however, is adoped only after careful consideration
of the situation. In the face of enemy armor the employment of Ontos
in other than from the hull-defilade pOSition is undersirable. The
Ontos cannot be expected to carry out offensive missions against
long range direct fire antitank weapons or against enemy tanks. They
can be effective against such weapons, however, if employed from
covered and concealed flank positions wherein surprise is exploited to
the maximum. If the enemy troops are poorly trained and equipped,
the Ontos may be used in a limited tank role. The Ontos can be air-
dropped and this capability may be exploited in support of isolated
units operating at a distance from the remainder of the landing force.
When Ontos are airdropped, provisions for boresighting the weapons after
the drop are required.
FMFM 9-3


During withdrawals and retirements antitank units may be employed

to cover tank approaches that threaten lines of communications. Some
Ontos are generally integrated with tank or infantry elements and used
in the security forces with detachments in contact or as part of the
rear guard. A delaying action seeks to trade space for time and
inflict maximum damage to the enemy without the participating friendly
forces becoming so heavily engaged that freedom of action is lost.
Delaying action requires maximum firepower in support of units in
contact with the enemy. It also dictates that units in contact be
highly mobile so that they may disengage rapidly. Ontos are best
employed to support the rear elements, maintaining contact with the
enemy where they cause the enemy to deploy early, thereby creating
maximum delay.

FMFM 9-3


The primary means of communications within the antitank battalion
are radios supplemented by wire, messenger J and visual and sound
signals. Control of Ontos is largely dependent upon the continued
operation of radio equipment. The use of radio communications is
limited by the range of the equipment employed, the capability of the
type of equipment available to different units in the net, the number
of transmitters operating within a net, and the tactical requirements
for observing radio restrictions o The communication system of the
antitank battalion is compatible with the princip les of mobility and
flexibility and the requirements of dispersed operations. It is fast,
reliable, and secure.


Communications is the command responsibility of the battalion

commander. The antitank commander at each level of command is
responsible for the efficient operation of the Ontos communication
system and for its efficient operation as part of the overall communi-
cation system. The antitank battalion commander, company
commanders, and platoon commanders require systems that are
adequate to ensure command and control in accomplishing their

a. Communication Officer. --Technical control of antitank battalion
communications is delegated to the battalion communication officer
who is kept informed of the existing and proposed tactical, command,
administrative, and liaison situations. The communication officer:

(1) Is responsible to the commanding officer for effecting

rapid, reliable, and secure electrical, visual, sound, and messenger
communications within the scope of the responsibilities of the command.
He should be technically qualified and acquainted with communication
publications and doctrine.

(2) Performs the duties of cryptographic security officer.

(3) Conducts and supervises communication training for the

battalion. This is particularly significant in the antitank battalion, an
organization in which there are few communicators deSignated by MOS
but where all crew personnel are required to use and maintain organic
radio systems. The communication officer arranges training through
FMFM 9-3

company commanders and provides for scheduling through the battalion

S-3. An effective battalion training program provides for extensive
practical work for all personnel in radio operation, procedures, and
maintenance. All crew personnel are given periodic practical and
written tests to ensure that they are efficient.

(4) Directs and supervises the performance of preventive

maintenance (2nd echelon) on all communication equipment organic to
the AT battalion.

b. Procedures. -- Communication procedures have a direct bear-

ing on the efficiency and effectiveness of a communication system.
Proper procedures speed transmissions. Attention is given to the
proper use of call signs, authentications, and shackle ciphers.
Nonessential traffic is eliminated.

c. Equipment. -- Communication-electronics equipment is utilized

in the manner for which intended. Misuse and abuse result in a lack
of communications at a crucial point in operations.

d. Planning. --Communication planning supports the tactical plans

of the AT unit and the supported unit. Planning of Ontos communi-
cations is continuous in order to ensure continued command, control,
and support.

e. Security. --Since AT units are normally widely deployed, their

transmissions provide valuable information to the enemy. Accordingly,
communication security for Ontos is essential to the security of the
entire force.


AT units achieve a fast, se cure and reliable communication system

by exercising the following basic communication principles and funda-

a. Command Responsibility. --Command responsibility is the under-

lying principle of antitank communications. The AT commander is
responsible for the establishment of the communication system of his
unit. He ensures that his communication means are utilized effec-
tively to enhance the control and coordination of AT units.

b. Higher to Lower. --The senior unit is responsible for communi-

cations between senior and subordinate units.

FMFM 9-3

c. Attached Units. --An attached unit enters the communication

system of the unit to which attached and maintains only essential
communications with its parent organization. For communication
purposes the attached unit then comes under control of the organiza-
tion to which attached, and the higher to lower rule applies to the
task force headquarters. Frequently, due to incompatible systems,
alternate or adjusted means of radio communications have to be
established. Augmentation of required types of equipment and person-
nel may be necessary.

d. Supporting Units. - -A supporting unit establishes communica-

tions with the supported unit and maintains normal communications with
its parent organization.

e. Adjacent Units. - -Communications between adjacent units is

established from left to right, or as specified by the next higher
common commander.

f. Units in Column. - -Communications between units in column is

established from rear to front, or as specified by the next higher
common commander.

g. During Movement. --Communications during movement are

maintained as directed by the officer in charge or other designated

h. Disrupted Communications. --If there is a disruption in commu-
nications, the units involved are responsible for taking immediate
action to see that communications are restored. Both the senior and
subordinate commanders are responsible to initiate the required action
to re ctify the disruption.

i. Succession of Communication Control. --In case of destruction

of any headquarters an order of communication control is established
in the battalion's communication standing operating procedures

j. Communication Support. --The responsibility for communication

support is from higher headquarters to subordinate units.

k. Integration. --Each communication system is integrated into

adjacent, higher, and lower systems where it is necessary or desir-
able that the systems jOin. In addition, this fundamental implies that
interference between systems is eliminated or held to a minimun by proper
and well planned frequency and equipment assignment.
FMFM 9-3

l. Cooperation. --In order for the communication system to work

well, it is necessary for all units to cooperate regardless of who may
normally be required to take action.

m. Security. --In order to maintain security, it is mandatory that

everyone who uses the communication system strictly adhere to com-
munication security regulations and directives.

n. Reliability. --The Reliability of the radio system is enhanced by

ensuring that operators are throughly trained in the employment of the
radios they use, that they understand-the radio's capabilities and
limitations, and that the radio equipment is maintained in workable


Planning for antitank communications is continuous throughout the

planning process. Communication planning should not be unnecessarily
involved since the antitank communication system is basic in nature;
however, every possible contingency is anticipated, and plans are
made to cope with them. For a detailed discussion of communication
planning, see FMFM 10-1, Communications. The communication plan
for the antitank battalion normally consists of the standing operating
procedure for communications (COMMSOP), the communication oper-
ation instructions (COl), portions of paragraph 5 of the operation plan,
and the communication-electronics annex of the operation plan.

a. Communication Standing Operating Procedure (COMMSOP).--The

COMMSOP is an order published by the antitank battalion which 'pre-
scribes the routine method of installation, operation, and maintenance
of the battalion communication system. It implements communication
doctrine as contained in approved publications. The instructions con-
tamed in the COMMSOP are flexible to provide for minor changes by
sub6rdinate units to fit the needs of a given tactical situation. It is
the responsibility of the commander, based on the advice of the com-
munication officer, to maintain the COMMSOP up-to-date and in keep-
ing with the state of training of the battalion and the equipment avail-

b. Communication Operation Instructions (COl). --The COl is issued

for the technical control and coordination of communication agencies.
It contains such items as aSSigned radio call signs, frequencies, and
telephone directory names. Normally, the antitank battalion employs
extracts from the COl of the force, the division, or other unit to
which it is attached. An index for the COl shows the title of each
FMFM 9-3

item, the item's serial numbers, the date and hour the COl becomes
effective, and other remarks that are essentiaL

c. Paragraph 5 of the Operation Plan. --Paragraph 5 of an opera-

tion plan contains instructions for the establishment and maintenance
of a communication system for a particular operation. It may also
include command post (CP) locations, an axis of communications,
locations and times of opening and closing communication centers, code
names and words, and command relationships.

d. Communication-Electronics Annex. --The communication-

electronics annex of an operation plan coordinates the establishment
and operation of the communication system of the antitank battalion
based on the tactical and logistical plan. The annex amplifies the
instructions contained in paragraph 5 of the operation plan and instruc-
tions not found in the COMMSOP or the COL

The AT battalion organization and equipment allowances provide for

communications with higher, supported, and subordinate units. The
internal Ontos radio provides the necessary communications for control
of individual Ontos and the exchange of information between all AT
units including liaison and reconnaissance teams. (See fig. 64.)
Antitank units are equipped with unmounted radios which may be used
by AT liaison teams for coordination with supported units. Additional
communication flexibility exists in' AT units through organic, vehicular-
mounted radio equipment capable of communicating with higher, sup-
ported, and organic units.

a. Internal Radio Nets. --The following internal radio nets are

established by the AT battalion. (See fig. 65.)

(1) Antitank Battalion Command Net. --The AT battalion com-

mand net furnishes the commander with a circuit to exercise command
and control of his subordinate units. Stations on this net include the
battalion CP, the battalion commander when away from the CP, the
antitank companies, and any liaison personnel located at the division
main or alternate CPo This net employs the AN/MRC-36 and the

(2) Antitank Company Command Neto --The AT company com-

mand net furnishes the company commander with a circuit to exercise

command and control of his subordinate units. Stations on the net

FMFM 9-3

Figure 64. --Internal Ontos Communication Equipment.

include the company CP, the company commander when away from the
CP, the antitank platoon, and any liaison personnel with a supported
infantry unit. This net employs the AN/PRC-8 and the AN/MRC-36.

(3) Antitank Company Common Net. --The AT company common

net provides the AT commander a secondary circuit between the AT
unit and the supported infantry unit. This net employs the AN /PRC-6
and the AN/PRC-IO.

(4) Antitank Platoon Command Net. --The AT platoon command

net furnishes each platoon commander with a circuit to exercise com-
mand and control of his platoon. Stations on the net include the pla-
toon commander, each Ontos, and any liaison personnel with a sup-
ported unit. Since there are only two radios mounted in the Ontos,
the platoon commander may enter only two nets at one time.


FMFM 9-3








-----......- .



Figure 65. --Radio Nets.

b. External Radio Nets. --The antitank battalion establishes stations

on the following external radio nets to higher headquarters:

(1) Division Command Net #1. --Division command net #1 is a

high freque ncy, voice/ cw net linking division with major combat and
combat support units. It employs the AN/MRC-83 and the AN/GRC-9o

FMFM 9-3

(2) Division Alert Broadcast Net. --The division alert broad-

cast net is a high frequency, vOice/cw net to provide alert messages
(enemy air or armored movement) and other administrative and tacti-
cal messages of interest to more than one unit. It employs the
AN/GRC-9 and receiver AN/URI-23.

(3) Division Tactical Net. --The division tactical net is a very

high frequency, voice net to provide a secondary circuit to the division
commander and to exercise control of his major combat and combat
support units. It employs the AN/MRC-38 and the AN/PRC-10.

(4) Division Damage Control Net. --The division damage control

net provides a net for reporting relevant information subsequent to an
enemy nuclear attack. It employs the AN/MRC-83 and the AN/GRC-9.

Co Displacement Nets. --The antitank battalion has sufficient radio

equipment to displace in two echelons and maintain communications on
the following nets:

(1) Division command net #1.

(2) Division tactical net.

(3) Division alert net.

( 4) Antitank battalion command net.

d. Supported Units. --When an antitank company or platoon is at-

tached to or in support of another unit, communications may be
established in two ways:

(1) One method is for liaison personnel of the antitank company

or platoon to be located with the supported unit CP and with equipment
provided, to enter the appropriate antitank company or platoon command
... net.

(2) A second method is to place appropriate equipment at the

antitank unit CP or to use a radio mounted in the Ontos to enter the
supported unit's net.

e. Supporting Units. --When AT units require support from logistic

elements, artillery, aviation, or naval gunfire, communications are
established where compatible equipment exists. Communications are
frequently maintained by AT units with supporting units through their


FMFM 9-3

liaison teams. When artillery forward observers, naval gunfire

spotters, or forward air controllers accompany Ontos in forward areas,
they communicate directly with their parent organization / using organic
radio equipment or Ontos-mounted equipment. Using organic equip-
ment on the Ontos, air controllers and NGF spotters relay requests
through AT liaison teams having access to the appropriate supporting
arms headquarters while artillery FO s communicate directly with the
artillery FDCs.


The AT battalion can install, operate, and maintain a switching

central and an internal wire system. The usefulness of wire com-
munications is lessened by the requirement for the frequent separa-
tion of components of the battalion. In defensive situations, wire may
be installed within and between AT units and supported units. When the
AT battalion CP is located in the immediate vicinity of a major unit
already connected to the division wire and radio relay system, trunk
lines are run between the switching centrals of this unit and the AT


a. Messengers. --Messengers are used whenever practicable to

augment other means of communications.

b. Visual. --Hand and arm signals are extenSively used in the
control of AT formations. Panels are used as a means of identifi-
cation both for ground and air observation. Pyrotechnics are used for
signals and for emergency identification. To be effective, prearranged
signals must be understood and practiced. Their use is restricted by
distance, visibility, security, and the nature of the signal.

c. Sound. --The use of whistles, horns, sirens, weapons, and the

racing of engines to convey special meaning must be prearranged and
frequently rehearsed.


Communications between Ontos and supporting infantry must be

rapid and reliable. Radio communications in themselves are not
enough and are supplemented by visual and sound signals and the use
of guides. Figure 66 illustrates some of the means employed in
effecting Ontos-infantry communications and the clock method of target
deSignation employed by infantry to point out targets.
FMFM 9-3

'-" .." \ . FLARE

.' -~. .,:..' :
-.'1; .'\ '. "'.


Figure 66. --Ontos-Infantry Communications.

FMFM 9-3

Section Vll: LOGISTICS

Sustaining Ontos in combat requires extensive and timely logistic
support. Since organic antitank elements are normally employed in
support of infantry units, the AT battalion commander and his staff
focus a great deal of attention on the logistic situation of subordinate
units. Displacements, distances, cross -country movements, dispersed
deployment of individual AT units, and the requirement for immediate
tactical responsiveness contribute to the battalion's logistic support
problems. The overall principles and techniques employed in the Fleet
Marine Force logistic system are presented in FMFM 4-1, Logistic
and Personnel Support. This section discusses aspects of AT logistic
planning and supply, maintenance, and evacuation procedures.


The AT battalion commander is responsible for all aspects of logis-

tics within the battalion. He requires an integrated and positive supply,
maintenance, and service program which enlists and capitalizes on the
abilities of all personnel in the battalion. The nature of the AT bat-
talion organization is such that logistics, and, in particular, mainte-
nance is an "all hands" effort. It cannot be limited strictly to techni-
cians. The commanding officer can produce such a program only
through continuous and carefully thought out plans and procedures, by

setting high standards for logistic operations, and by ensuring through
daily checks, formal command inspections, and technical inspections
that these standards are met. Personnel liaison with the service
battalion regarding methods of expediting'" supply, service, and mainte-
nance pays dividends to the AT battalion commander. The principal
assistants to the commander in establishing such a program and
carrying it out are the S-4, supply officer, ordnance/maintenance
officer, motor transport officer, communication officer, and the ...
company commander.


Each commander, regardless of the size of his command, is

directly involved in the logistic support of his unit. The individual
antitank unit commander is as involved with logistics as the battalion
commander. Each commander ascertains his logistic requirements,
submits timely requirements, ensures support received is adequate,
and provides for the proper and economical use of material. The

FMFM 9-3

battalion commander's primary assistant in this function is the S-4.

The company commander utilizes his executive officer to supervise
his logistic requirements.

a. Impetus of Logistics. - -The overall impetus of logistics is from

rear to front. Agencies providing logistic support to the antitank
battalion should be located within reach of the battalion. This is
extremely difficult when great distances are involved. Lower eche-
lons normally receive their logistic support directly from the antitank

b. Logistic Planning. - -Logistic planning is based on tactical plans

and is designed to be simple, flexible, and complete. It should facil-
itate future AT operations.

c. Prescribed Load. --The prescribed load for the AT battalion

consists of those combat essential items of equipment, supplies, and
ammunition to be landed and carried in combat. This load does not
exceed the carrying capacity of individuals and organic vehicles. An
example of the prescribed load for the AT battalion is presented in
appendix L.


The logistics officer (S -4) has primary staff cognizance over the
functional fields of logistics. He coordinates the activities of the
supply officer, medical officer, motor transport officer, and ordnance
repair platoon commander. His specific duties in the AT battalion
include the following:

a. Status of Supplies. - -The S-4 reviews the status of supplies

within the AT battalion and the location of supply installations that
assist the battalion. He informs the battalion commander of the lo-
gistic status of the unit and the overall force. The S-4 anticipates
and plans the need for supplies in order to make early requests that
ensure continuous support. He makes recommendations to the battal-
ion commander as to policies for supply operations.

b. Requisition of Supplies. --The S-4 monitors the requests for

supplies as they are submitted.

c. Issue of Supplies. - -The supply officer under the supervision of

the S-4 receives and issues all classes of supplies which are normally
picked up at supply points by vehicles organiC to the battalion.

FMFM 9-3

d. Maintenance. --The S-4 exercises overall staff supervision of

the battalion's maintenance program. He determines requirements;
develops plans, programs, and policies; and coordinates the ac1ivities
of special staff officers and the AT unit commanders in implementing
the battalion maintenance program.

e. Ammunition Plan. --The S-4 plans for ammunition resupply,

based on estimated requirements received from the 8-3, and super-
vises its distribution. Requirements are ascertained by determining
the amount of ammunition on hand, the types required, their expected
rate of expenditure, and the available supply rate. Information con-
cerning the types required and expected rate of expenditure is ob-
tained from the 8-3.

f. Vehicle Status. - -The 8 -4 maintains current information concern-

ing the status of all the battalion vehicles. This information, by
vehicle type and organization, includes those that are servicable, de-
tached with duration specified, and lost to enemy action. From this
the 8-4 determines vehicle replacement requirements and directs the
maintenance effort. I

g. Daily Logistic Reports. --The 8-4 prepares daily logistic re-

ports required by higher authority based on reports received from the
staff officers and organic companies.

h. S-4 Journal. --The 8-4 maintains an 8-4 journal.

.' I

i. Periodic Report. - -Based on the information contained in the

8-4 journal, the 8-4 prepares the logistic portion of the battalion
periodic report. These reports contain information concerning the
situation for a given period of time. The time of submission is
normally covered in the unit 80Ps or specified in orders or directions
of higher headquarters.

j. Supply Information. --The S-4 recommends details of supply in-

formation to be included in the AT battalion operation orders. These
operation orders include any information regarding reserve supplies
of ammunition and fuel and the location of supporting installations.

k. Salvage. --The S-4 supervises the collection, disposition, or

reporting of the location of friendly or enemy salvage. Equipment
worn out in service is evacuated through normal supply channels.
Equipment damaged in combat may be salvaged by the battalion and
evacuated through channels or its location reported to higher

FMFM 9-3

headquarters for salvage. Normally the requirements for salvage are

set forth in directives by higher headquarters.

1. Transportation. --The 8-4 plans for and supervises the ad-

ministrative movement and transport of all vehicles of the battalion,
whether by road, rail, or water. Control of movements and the
means and routes employed are coordinated with the S-3. He main-
tains information on available road nets, the traffic measures re-
quired, and prepares a traffic circulation plan when required for the
use of road nets. A circulation plan is required so that battalion
supply points and bulk refueling points are accessible without traffic
problems and delays that interfere with operations.

m. Technical Inspections. --The S-4 schedules technical in-

spections of aU materiel. These inspections are conducted by techni-
cal and service personnel of the battalion. Frequent technical inspec-
tions provide each commander with an estimate of the readiness of
his unit. The S-4 monitors the inspection critique.

n. Services. - -The 8 -4 determines the battalion requirements for

logistic services and, when acquired, supervises their activities.

o. Supply Economy. --The S-4 proposes poliCies and programs to

ensure that each item of equipment employed by the battalion is used
properly in order to gain maximum service from its initial receipt
until its final distribution. He ensures that excesses of supplies are
avoided, material is not abandoned, and that existing supplies are
p. Embarkation. --The S-4 keeps an accurate file on embarkation
data of the AT battalion. He supervises the preparation of embarka-
tion data and ensures its timely submission. He coordinates embar-
kation requirements with the embarkation officer and other staff
agencies of the battalion and force .


a. Unit Commanders. --Each AT company commander and platoon

commander is responsible for ascertaining his logistic needs and mak-
ing his needs known to his commander. Planning and requests for
logistic support should be timely so that resupply can be coordinated
with the tactical situation. AT unit commanders recommend methods
of logistic support to meet existing tactical situations and ensure that
the supplies, services, and equipment placed at their disposal are

FMFM 9-3

properly and fully utilized. Each AT company and platoon commander

accomplishes this requirement by training, establishing proper mate-
riel practices and procedures, exercising proper supervision over the
operation and first echelon maintenance of organic M50A1s, and en-

forcing supply discipline and economy. The responsibility of each
company commander in matters relating to his organic equipment

(1) Supervising the use of organic equipment.

(2) Training personnel in the proper operation and preventive

maintenance of the M 50A1 and other organic ordnance equipment.

(3) Effenting first echelon maintenance of all organic equip-


(4) Maintaining OEM in a constant state of readiness.

(5) Conducting frequent inspections of equipment and personnel.

(6) Providing the battalion ordnance/maintenance officer with

necessary data relative to the records of their organic equipment.

b. Supply Officer. --The battalion supply officer works directly

under the staff supervision of the S-4 in the planning and execution of
supply operations to include:

(1) The determination of supply requirements.

(2) Procurement, storage, maintenance, and issue of required


(3) Establishment and operation of supply dumps in designated


(4) Submission of required supply reports.

(5) Establishment of field messing facilities when directed and

coordinating all functions of messing.

c. Ordnance/Maintenance Officer. --The ordnance/maintenance

officer is a staff assistant to the S-4 and the platoon leader of the
ordnance repair platoon. He is charged with direct supervision of all
second echelon maintenance of ordnance material within the antitank
b.attalion. Specific responsibilities of the ordnance/maintenance officer
FMFM 9-3

(1) Directing all ordnance preventive maintenance programs.

(2) Assisting subordinate units in all first echelon mainte-

nance as required and through inspections; ensuring compliance with
established repair and preventive maintenance procedures.

(3) Performing all 2d echelon maintenance plus limited 3d

echelon maintenance, when authorized, to ensure combat readiness
of equipment.

(4) Coordinating and assisting visiting maintenance contact

teams to ensure job completion.

(5) Submitting required reports concerning ordnance tracked


d. Ordnance Repair Platoon. --The ordnance repair platoon, under

the command of the ordnance / maintenance officer, performs the
following services for the battalion:

(1) 2d echelon maintenance on tracked vehicles.

(2) Scheduled quarterly and annual services.

(3) Assists and advises the antitank company maintenance


(4) Assists in the recovery and evacuation of disabled tracked


(5) Conducts periods of instruction on 1st echelon maintenance

for company personnel as directed.

e. Motor Transport Officer. --The motor transport officer works

directly under the battalion S-4 in the planning and execution of all
motor transport operations to include:

(1) Establishing and operating the battalion motor transport


(2) Establishing traffic control points within the command post

areas and enforcing prescribed speed limits.

(3) Driver training, instruction, and safety programs.


FMFM 9-3

(4) Developing motor transport maintenance procedures and

programs, to include on-the-job and formal school training of motor
transport maintenance personnel.

(5) Executing required organizational maintenance.

(6) Assisting subordinate units in all 1st echelon maintenance.

Through inspections he ensures compliance with established repair
and preventive maintenance procedures.

f. Communication Officer. --The communication officer works under

the supervision of the S -4 in regard to supply and maintenance of
communication equipment.

g. Embarkation Officer. --The embarkation officer works under the

direct supervision of the 8-4. He assists in the preparation of em-
barkation plans and orders.


Logistic planning commences with the receipt of a warning order

and is continuous until the completion of the operation. Logistic plans
prepared by the AT battalion are detailed, yet flexible. These plans
are designed to meet the demands of varying tactical situations. The
S -4 is responsible for seeing that the logistic plans are understood
and complied with. He ensures that these plans are kept current and

that new orders are written as necessary. In developing logistic
plans, the AT battalion S-4 carefully considers the following factors:

a. Mission of the Battalion and Subordinate Units. - -The attachment

of AT units to infantry necessitates a requirement for additional serv-
ice support and the prepositioning of certain supplies with the supported
unit prior to attachment. AT units placed in direct support of infantry
units remain under AT battalion's control and are provided their nor-
mal resupply through the AT battalion's resources. Missions involving
mechanized-motorized operations pose specific logistic problems. The
size and complexity of the problems vary with the duration, the distances
involved, and the size of the force.

b. Terrain and Weather. --Terrain and weather influence the con-

dition and quantities of supplies maintained at battalion. They also
influence type of resupply that is to be conducted.

FMFM 9-3

c. Condition of Beaches and Road Nets. --The amount of supplies

carried by subordinate units and the battalion is based on the ability
to effect resupply.

d. Distance of Movement. --As the distance from the battalion to

supply points increases, additional emphasis is placed on vehicle
allocation and movement security. Tactical and administrative marches
present unique problems during combat operations and in special
e. Enemy Capability to Disrupt Supply. --If normal supply channels
are disrupted or can be disrupted, special planning is required for
the development of special resupply means. It may be necessary to
resupply at night or during periods of reduced visibility, or it may be
necessary to resupply by air. When it is contemplated that supply
lanes may be disrupted, larger than usual amounts of supplies are
kept by the AT battalion and subordinate units.

f. Logistic Plans of Higher Headquarters. --The plans of higher

headquarters are considered in all AT planning. The S-4 makes every
effort to satisfy his unit's needs based on these plans. When the AT
unit's needs cannot be satisfied, the higher headquarters is notified so
that possible readjustments can be made in their logistic plans to
ensure continued Ontos support for the force.

g. Probable Duration of Operations. - -The probable duration of

operations has a definite bearing on the quantity of supplies required.
Requisition of supplies is based on valid time and usage factors.


Each Ontos enters combat fully loaded with fuel, ammunition, water,
rations, selected spare parts, and accesories. Vehicles are replen-
ished as often as required. Resupply of fuel and ammunition com-
prises the major portion of the supply effort. Refueling is accom-
plished in much the same manner as ammunition is replenished.
Supply can be simplified by providing it through the unit which the
Ontos is supporting. Inadequacy of ground supply means may neces-
sitate supply by air. Supplies may also be delivered by free drop,
parachute, or helicopter. Helicopters, when available, facilitate
landing supplies in close proximity to the using antitank units.
a. Supply Levels. --Adequate supplies are required to ensure effec-
tive operation of the AT battalion. Supply procedures are designed to

FMFM 9-3

provide for the establishment and maintenance of authorized levels of I

supply, accurate usage data, and timely requisitioning. Authorized
levels of supply within the battalion may be categorized as mountout
and operating levels:

(1) Mountout. --Mountout supplies are maintained by the bat-

talion supply officer. They are designed to support the AT unit for
a specified number of days in combat. Normally, a mountout block
of supplies is embarked with each company. The supplies in these
blocks are not expended unless the unit to which they are assigned is
authorized to use them by higher authority.

(a) Regularly and prior to each deployment, mountout

supplies are inspected for completeness and serviceability. Normally,
the supply officer and the maintenance officer are responsible for this
inspection and for correcting discrepancies noted.

(b) Antitank unit commanders make pertinent recommen-

dations as to supplies to be added to or deleted from mountout as
necessary and appropriate.

(2) Operating Level. --The operating level of supplies is de-

Signed to support the AT unit in day-to-day operations. Like mount-
out, it is specified in terms of a set number of days. The operating
level of supplies is inspected through regular spot checks and com-
mand and technical inspections. An adequate operating level of

supplies and, in particular, spare parts can be maintained only when
proper procedures are followed. Valid usage data is the first require-
ment. Accurate records at the point of use are required to serve as
a basis for establishing the battalion's authorized allowances. Detailed
procedures for the establishment of such allowances are contained in
current Marine Corps directives. Once realistic allowances are
established, efficient implementation of the system depends upon timely
reordering and careful supervision of the requiSitioning, receiving,
and issuing processes.

b. Supply Distribution. --A typical system of supply for AT bat-

talion units is illustrated in figure 67. The supply system is designed
to be rapid and flexible to support the inherent mobility of the Ontos.
It is adaptable to rapid and unexpected changes in the situation.

(1) When the antitank battalion is operating under centralized

control, supplies are displaced forward along the division main supply
route. In such a situation supply point distribution is normally in

FMFM 9-3

2-2 1/2 T,
6x6 w/ea.
Cf). used to

2-2 1/2 T,
6x6 w/ea.
- 5-2 1/2 T, 6x6
3-2 1/2 T, 6x6
Co. used to GASOLINE
resupply PIts. TRUCKS

2-2 1/2 T,
6x6 w/ea.
Co. used to
resupply Pits.

Figure 67. --Antitank Supply System.

effect at battalion level with unit distribution provided to committed

antitank companies.

(2) Operations wherein antitank units are attached to widely

separated units with accompanying decentralization, impose additional
problems upon the supported unit(s) to ensure adequate logistic support.

(3) When unit distribution is in effect, the AT battalion main-

tains a small supply reserve in dumps and, when possible, supporting
echelons deliver directly to subordinate using AT units, obviating the
necessity of unloading and reloading supplies at the AT battalion

(4) Normal conditions involve use of 3/4-ton cargo trucks with

the AT platoon. Rolling reserves consisting of supply vehicles loaded
with predetermined quantities and types of supplies may follow advanc-
ing AT units by bounds. These mobile loaded supplies are kept as
FMFM 9-3

close to the area of tactical operations as security conditions permit

so as to reduce resupply time to a minimum.

c. Fuel. --Fuel is used by Ontos at predictable rates except dur-

ing periods when the tactical situation creates unusual demands. A
detailed analysis of the fuel usage rates for the antitank. battalion is
depicted in figure 68. Despite the predicted rate of usage, the S-4
and company commanders should be constantly aware of their needs.
Ontos are refueled in an orderly manner before a shortage of fuel
requires them to withdraw from action. The S-4 determines his
overall fuel requirements based on the tactical situation. Companies
request fuel as it is require do The AT battalion does not normally
establish a class TIl supply dump. Establishing a dump necessitates
rehandling of fuel, which is kept to a minimum. Normally, fuel is
picked up by battalion refuelers at landing force class ITI supply points,
and the refueler refuels the Ontos. The following are examples of
methods of fuel resupply:

(1) During the initial phases of an amphibious operation the AT

battalion depends almost completely on its organic sources (prescribed
load) for fuel. Each vehicle is topped off with fuel, and the battalion
fuel trucks are landed full. The Ontos then have sufficient fuel to
operate for 24 hours with 48 hours additional resupply in each company
tanker. This company refueler follows the AT company as it moves
forward, refueling Ontos as requested. It returns to the division re-
fueling point periodically so that it will not normally ever go below a

24-hour supply of mogas. Additional fuel may be loaded in drums
aboard trucks. Drum fuel is the least desirable method of fuel re-
supply due to the difficulty of handling drums and the time required
for refueling. External fuel sources for the AT battalion during this
period are LVTPs with fuel ferrying assemblies or emergency heli-
copters loaded with drum fuel. Amphibian vehicles are normally not
available for this type of employment during a landing; however, they are
capable of increasing the battalion t s organic fuel handling capability
during mechanized-motorized operations o

(2) During later phases of an operation the AT battalion obtains

its fuel from class TIl supply points. As logistic support agencies are
further established ashore, the battalion utilizes the amphibious fuel
system. Fuel can be acquired by Ontos and motor vehicles directly
or by transfer into fuel trucks.

(3) Normally, Ontos are refueled by fuel trucks dispatched from

the battalion directly to companies or platoons. When practical, the

FMFM 9-3


1. Headquarters and Service Company.

a. Mogas. Diesel and Kerosene.

Consumer Quantity Ratei'Consumeri'Hr Per Dayi'Consumer Total

M-35 (5) 4 24 120 gals

M-37 (2) 2.75 16.5 33 gals
M-422A1 (7) 1.5 9 63 gals
MRC-83 (1) 1.5 36 36 gals
MRC-36 (1) 1.5 36 36 gals
M-170 (1) 1.5 9 9 gals
9 gals
Lube Unit
Battery Charger
Steam Jenny
.5 Mogas
3 gals
6 gals
2. 5 Kerosene 15 30 gals
Field Range (9) .75 Mogas 4.5 40 gals
Cooking Outfit (4) .67 Mogas 4 17 gals
Burner, Immer sian (9) .47 Mogas 3 27 gals
Lantern, Kerosene (33) . 05 Kerosene 2 gals
Gen. 348/AG (1) .75 Diesel 18 18 gals

b. Other POLs, Oil & Lubricants - One Day.

30w (.03 total gas) 12 gals

lOw (.005 total gas) 2 gals
GAA (.01 total gas) 4lbs
Hyd Fluid 1 qt
G190 5 qts

2. Antitank Company and Platoon.

a. Hourly Consumption Rate By Type Vehicle.

M-35 4 gal/hr
M-37 2.75 gal/hr
M-422 1. 5 gal/hr
MRC-36 1. 5 gal/hr
M-50AI0ntos 6 gal/hr
M-62 9 gal/hr
M-49 40 gal/hr

b. Total Consumption of Mogas for One Day. (Based on 6 hr day except MRC-36
24 hrs).

(1) One Platoon.

M50Al 180 gals/day

M-37 16 gals/day
M-422 9 gals/day
205 gals/day

(2) One Company

3 plts@ 205 615 gals/day

2 M-35 (Co Hq) 48 gals/day
1 M-422 (Co Hq) 9 gals/day
1 MRC-36 (Co Hq) 36 gals/day
1 M-49 24 gals/day
1 M-62 34 gals/day
786 gals/day

c. Oil and Grease Requirements - One Day.

One Platoon Company Total

30w (.03 total gas) 6 gals 22 gals
lOw (.005 total gas) 1 gal 4 gals
GAA (. 01 total gas) '2lbs 6lbs

Figure 68. --Fuel Usage Rates for the Antitank Battalion.

fuel is delivered directly to individual vehicles. If this can't be done,

fuel trucks are placed in a central location, and Ontos go to the trucks
for refueling.

FMFM 9-3

(4) Vehicles on the march are refueled during halts. When

halts are planned for refueling, vehicles should posses sufficient fuel
to react to sudden emergencies. Again it is desirable that Ontos be
refueled in place. If drums are employed, they are dumped off at
each vehicle. During extended marches in rear areas the landing
force can establish class m supply points along the march route.

d. Ammunition --Basic allowances, planning figures for expendi-


ture of ammunition, and packaging characteristics of the various types

of ammunition used by the antitank battalion are illustrated in figure 69.
Ammunition supply points are kept well forward so that Ontos can be
resupplied and will not be out of action for lengthy periods of time.
These ammunition supply points are located in carefully selected
covered and concealed positions. Each Ontos commander is kept j
informed of the location of supply points and their ammunition status
at all times. When pOSSible, several ammunition supply points,
echeloned in depth, are maintained to ensure adequate ammunition
supply in every phase of operations. On occasion, motor transport
organic to the AT battalion may be incapable of meeting logistic re-
quirements. When this occurs, the AT battalion commander recom-

mends to the division commander that:

Rounds Per
Percent of Unit
Wpn, Per Day
Units of Fire Package
(combat, extended By Type
oper ations assault Data
and Basic ashore)
Ammunition Allowance Rds, Extra Qty Wt J&
D-day D-30 D-60 Primers, Fuses Fuses
Etc. (each) !bs Ft

Rifle, Mu!tiple, 44 i"ds. 20 18 15

106-mm, SP, (Ontos) per
M50 weapon

Cartridge, HEAT, 33 2 119 2.89

344A1, w/fuse
pmD, M509
67 2 119 2.78
Cartridge, HEP-T,
M346Al, W/fuse
BD, M91Al
208 70 0.90
Cartridge, Spotter- *
Tracer, M48

* Ratio of 4 cartridges, Spotter-Tracer, M48 per 1 round each HEAT and HEP-T.

Figure 59. --Ammunition Planning Data. I

FMFM 9-3

(1) Unit distribution to AT companies be accomplished by

division elements other than the AT battalion.

(2) The AT division supply points be displaced forward.


The battalion ordnance repair platoon performs backup organiza-

tional maintenance for vehicles of the battalion. This platoon is
equipped with heavy wreckers to recover and evacuate disabled
battalion vehicles.. A repair team is often attached to an AT company
when that company is attached to a regiment for an extended period of
time. Each maintenance unit makes all repairs within its capabilities.
Location of vehicles that cannot be repaired by the company mainte-
nance section is reported to the battalion maintenance officer for
recovery. The battalion ordnance repair platoon repairs the vehicle
or evacuates it to the division service battalion.

a. Authorized Levels of Maintenance. --Authorized levels of main-

tenance within the capabilities of the AT battalion include operator, or
first echelon maintenance, and organizational, or second echelon main-

(1) Operator/First Echelon Maintenance. --Preventive mainte-

nance is the systematic care, inspection, and servicing of the M50A1
and .its associated equipment in order to maintain it in a servicable
condition and prevent breakdowns. First echelon maintenance is
accomplished by vehicle crews under the supervision of their imme-
diate commanders. Vehicle crewmen, supervisory personnel, and
antitank unit commanders are guided by TM 00545B-10 in the perform-
ance of first echelon maintenance. Specific preventive maintenance
checks to be performed on the vehicle are listed in Table 1 to TM
00545B-10. The procedures outlined therein are followed each time
the Ontos is operated; at required intervals during a day's operation;
A and, as a minimum, at least once weekly when a vehicle is not oper-
ated. Discrepancies which cannot be corrected by vehicle crews are
reported promptly to the battalion ordnance/maintenance officer by the
AT unit commander concerned. Tactical Equipment Repair Order
(NAVMC 10245-SD) is used for this purpose.

(2) Organizational/Second Echelon Maintenance. --The ordnance/

maintenance officer is responsible for the performance of quarterly and
annual preventive maintenance services and all 2d echelon repairs.
This work is performed under his immediate supervision by the per-
sonnel of the ordnance repair platoon. Such repairs are accomplished
FMFM 9-3

in accordnance with procedures delineated in TM 00545B-20 Repairs

which are beyond the technical or authorized maintenance capability
of the AT battalion, as defined in TM 00545B-20, are promptly for-
warded to the service battali on for appropriate action. Tactical
Equipment Repair Order (NAVMC 10245-SD) is used for this purposeo

b. Maintenance Procedure so --Maintenance procedures within the

antitank battalion conform with the principles and concepts delineated
in current Marine Corps directives. The ordnance/maintenance officer
is responsible for applying and maintaining a system of daily work
scheduling to match available skills and resources with pending work
in an efficient and economical manner. An example of the processing
of a vehicle repair order is depicted in figure 700 When the main-
tenance work load precludes timely completion of repairs~ he arranges J
for assistance from maintenance contact teams of the division service

(1) Ordnance equipment with defects beyond organizational capa-

bilities is evacuated to the next higher echelon of maintenance.

(2) Vehicles forwarded for work by higher echelons normally

are clean and have all 1st and 2d echelon maintenance performed
prior to evacuation.
(3) Cannibalization of equipment is prohibited except when
specifically authorized by higher authority

(4) All tracked vehicles are winterized when required by

operating conditions.

(5) Safety practices set forth in the United States Navy Safety
Precautions (OPNAV 34P1 ) apply to the antitank battalion. Individ-
uals operating special equipment are instructed on safety procedures
dealing with the special tool being used.

c. InspectiOn. --To ensure operational readiness of the AT battalion,

inspections are conducted on a continuing basis to include spot checks,
formal inspections, and technical inspections.

(1) Spot Checkso --Informal inspections of the antitank battalion

ordnance equipment are conducted by the battalion commander, company
commanders, platoon commanders, and the ordnance/maintenance
officer as a matter of daily routine.


Repair orders for 2d echelon or higher repair work entail:

1. Initiating Action. ~~The commanding officer or his designated representative
initiates and authorizes a Tactical Equipment Repair Order (NAVMC 10245-8D).

2. Turn-In. --The equipment, with 1st echelon work completed and the NAVMC
10245-8D are turned over to the battalion ordnance/maintenance officer. The ordnance/
maintenance officer receipts for the equipment and returns the yellow copy to the company
as a receipt.
3. Re-Evaluation. --The battalion ordnance/maintenance oCficer re-evaluates
the echelon of repair, in'ffiifes action to accomplish the work, and/or forwards the
equipment to the next higher echelon for repairs.

r 1
r I
1 I
2d' IIlchllon Work. --When thl requelt II lor 2d echelon work the battalion ordnance/ hlgher~rfh~b~t!~ll~: !11::::J~~;t~=:et~:f1~?ra~l~l~equested are third echelon or
maintenance officer will:
(1) Initiate Actlonl. --Initiate a new taetlcal equipment repair order lor for-
a. \nw"et. --inlpeet the equipment to determine 11 repalre In addition to thoee warding to service battalion.
rlquelted ar. n catld and to determine the priority c1 work.
(2) Reguest Approval. obtain the Battalion Commander's approval' for the
b. Record. .Enter all required work In his maintenance log and schedule requested work.
repair.. ---
(3) Complete 2d Echelon maintenance. nWhen 2d echelon repairs which would
c. Requl.ltlo'.!!.--Reque.t part.. Upon their receipt he repair. the equipment. interfere with or preclude completion of Srd echelon work are indicated, the 2d echelon
work is completed prior to forwarding the equipment and NAVMC 102458D to service
cl. Account. Enters parts, prices, and appropriate man hours involved on the
Tactlcal Equip"'iii'iiitlii"pair Order. He then records work in the tracked vehicle log or battalion.
weapon book and files the completed repair order. (4) Deliver . Turns repair order and equipment into service battalion, and has
them receipt for the item. He retains the blue copy of the tactical equipment repair order
e. Return.....Returns the equipment to the company concerned and has them for the antitank battalion's records.
receipt for the-iCFc5'iDpl1shed repairs.

to- Figure 70. --Example of the Processing of a Vehicle Repair Order. W
FMFM 9-3

(2) Formal Inspections. --Formal inspections of ordnance

equipment, including the M50A1, are conducted periodically by company
commanders and by the battalion commander The battalion ordnance /

maintenance officer provides personnel to assist in the technical aspects

of these inspections. Immediate action is taken to correct all dis - .
crepancies noted.

(3) Technical Inspections. --Limited technical inspections are

scheduled by the S -4 on an as required basiso

do Records. --The principal weapons record maintained by the AT

battalion are the tracked vehicle log book and weapons record books.
The ordnance/maintenance officer performs a detailed audit of these
books at each quarterly and annual PM service.

(1) Tracked Vehicle Log Books. --Tracked vehicle log books

are maintained by company commanders in accordance with MC TI
4700-15/1. Prior to fractional deployments, these records are
normally turned over to the deploying unit commander 0 It is then the
deploying unit commander's responsibility to maintain these records

until returned to parent unit controlo

(2) Weapon Record Bookso --Weapon record books are main-

tained by company commanders in accordance with the provisions of
MC TI 4700-15/1. Prior to fractional deployments, these records
are normally turned over to the deploying unit commander who then
becomes responsible for their proper maintenance 0

e. Fording. --Fording equipment is installed on each vehicle prior

to deployment on any exercise where deep water fording is anticipated.
General procedures and concepts for preparation of ordnance material
and the M50A1 for fording operations, fording, and postfording main-
tenance are delineated in TM 00545B-10 and TM 9-238.

f. Tools, Equipment, and Publications. --To properly operate and

maintain the tracked vehicles of the antitank battalion it is essential
that the proper tools, equipment, and publications are readily avail-
able to each vehicle crew. To this end, company commanders are
responsible for maintaining on -equipment material (OEM) listed in
SL 3-00545A for each vehicle. OEM is inventoried and inspected
monthly. Missing or defective items are placed on requiSition as
soon as the requirement becomes known.

g. Recovery Operations. --The antitank battalion with organic

recovery vehicles, tools, and equipment is capable of all phases of I I
FMFM 9-3

recovery and evacuation of disabled vehicles. Self -recovery of Ontos

is used to the maximum extent to train crews and conserve recovery
vehicles for operations requiring winching and lifting. When recovery
operations are beyond the capabilities of an individual platoon or con-
ditions do not permit utilization of platoon vehicles, recovery is
attempted by the company concerned with recovery equipment available
to that company. Recovery that is beyond the capability of the com-
pany is reported to the battalion S-4. The S-4 notifies the ordnance/
maintenance officer who takes action to recover the vehicle or vehicles.

(1) Hydrostatic Lock. --When an Ontos has been turned on its

side at an angle of 40 or more, spark plugs are removed and a
check is made for hydrostatic lock.

(2) Submersion. --Ontos that have been submerged and recov-


ered from water should be processed immediately. Officers directly

in charge of submerged vehicles, when under control of the antitank
battalion, should notify the S-4 by the most expeditious means so that
appropriate action may be taken. Recovery, evacuation, and correc-
tive action are the responsibility of the battalion ordnance/maintenance
officer. Processing fo submerged radio and communication equipment
is the responsibility of the battalion communication officer.


Normally, casualties are evacuated through infantry evacuation

channels. The organic medical section provides adequate medical
support under these conditions. However, AT battalion personnel can
be used as stretcher bearers when other evacuation means are imprac-
ticable. To provide treatment and evacuation of wounded Ontos crew-
men, one hospital corpsman accompanies each recovery vehicle when
it is dispatched forward on a recovery mission.

FMFM 9-3





a. Synopsis.

b. Climatic Conditions.

(1) Temperatures.

*(2) Precipitation.

(3) Winds.

*(4) Visibility.

(5) Cloudiness.

(6) Humidity.

(7) Electrical Disturbances (where applicable).

*c. Topography.

*( 1) Relief and Drainage Systems.

*(2) Vegetation.

*(3) Surface Materials.

*(4) Manmade Features.

*(5) Special Features.

*d. Coastal Hydrography.

(1) Sea Approaches.

*(2) Beaches.

(3) Tides and Currents.

(4) Sea and Surf.

FMFM 9-3


*a. Tactical Aspects of the Terrain.

*(1) Observation.

*(2) Fields of Fire.

*(3) Concealment.

*(4) Cover.

*(5) Obstacles.

*(6) Movement.

*(7) Key Terrain Features.

*(8) Avenues of Approach.

b. Engineering Aspects of the Terrain.

(1) Construction Sites.

(2) Construction Materials.

(3) Water Supply.


*a. Topographic Maps.

*b. Trafficability Maps.

*c. Cross Country Movement Maps.

*d. Movement Maps.

*e. Landing Maps.

f. Special Maps.

*Indicates items of particular significance to antimechanized operations .


FMFM 9-3



- -( eIassification) --
Copy of copies
Issuing headquarters
Place of issue
Date/time of issue


Maps and Charts: (Include those needed for an understanding of the estimate.)


(State the task of the landing force and its purpose. If the mission is multiple,
determine priorities. If there are intermediate tasks, prescribed or deduced,
necessary to the accomplishment of the mission, list them in this paragraph.
In planning for an amphibious operation it is frequently necessary to make several
successive estimates at the landing force level. For such estimates, this para-
graph should be subdivided as follows:)

a. Basic Mission. --(State the overall landing force's task and its purpose, as
assigned or deduced. )

b. Previous Decision(s), If Any. --(State the decisions resulting from other

estimates concerning the operation.)

c. Purpose of this Estimate. --(State the specific task within the basic mission
with which this particular estimate is concerned. )


a. Considerations Affecting the Possible Courses of Action. --(Determine and

analyze those factors of the situation which will influence the choice of a course
of action as well as those which affect the capabilities of the enemy to act ad-
versely. Consider the following and such other factors as may be involved:)

(1) Characteristics of the Area of Operations. --(Include effects of terrain,

hydrography, weather, and communications on friendly and enemy mecha-
nized operations. )

(2) Relative Combat Power. --(Consider the size and composition of the enemy's
mechanized force and the effective range, armor penetration, and mobility
of his weapons in determining the relative combat power of enemy armor
as opposed to that of the landing force's antimechanized weapons.)

--(Page number)--
--(Classification) --

FMFM 9-3

--(Classification) --
b. Enemy Mechanized Capabilities. --(Note all the possible courses of action within
the capabilities of the enemy which can affect the accomplishment of the assigned
mission. )

c. Landing Force Courses of Action. --(Note all practicable courses of action open
to the landing force which will permit accomplishment of the assigned mission. )


(Determine the probable effect of each enemy capability on the success of each of
the landing force courses of action. )


(Weigh the advantages of each course of action and decide which course of action
promises to be the most successful in accomplishing the landing force's mission.)


(Translate the course of action selected into a concise statement of recommended

employment of the force's antimechanized means.)

- -(Signature) --

Rank and Service


--(Page number)--

- -( Classification) --

FMFM 9-3



(To an operation plan)

- -( Classification) --
Copy of copies
Issuing headquarters
Place of issue
Date/time of issue
Message reference number

Annex (Letter) (Antimechanized) to Operation Plan (Number) (Code Name)

Ref: Maps, charts, or photos: (List those needed for an understanding of the annex.)

Time Zone:


(Give such information of the overall situation as may be essential to the under-
standing of the antimechanized operation. Reference may be made to pertinent
operation plans, annexes, and appropriate military reports.)

a. Enemy Forces. --(Detailed information on enemy mechanized elements, to

include location, type, and number of vehicles, capabilities of enemy mecha-
nized elements operating independently or in conjunction with motorized
forces, and most favorable routes of approach for enemy mechanized vehicles. )

b. Friendly Forces. - -(Information of measures to be taken by other friendly forces

prior to the landing and during subsequent operations ashore to accomplish
destruction of enemy mechanized forces and to establish a coordinated defense
against hostile mechanized attack. The participation of aircraft, naval gunfire,
and other adjacent or supporting forces, such as artillery, engineers, tanks, and
LVTHs should be briefly covered. )


(The general mission of the arms and services in antimechanized operations,

together with a statement of areas or routes of approach for enemy mechanized
units, if any, which will be accorded priority in the organization of the antimech-
anized operations. )

--(Page number)--

- -(Classification) --

FMFM 9-3

- -( Classification) --


a. (In separate lettered subparagraphs (a, b, c, etc.), assign specific tasks to

each subordinate unit or major grouping capable of participating in the anti-
mechanized operation.)

b. (The following points should be covered, making reference to the antimech-

anized overlay, as appropriate.)

(1) (Mission.)

(2) (Zone of responsibility. )

(3) (Primary and alternate position areas. )

(4) (Antimechanized conditions of readiness and warning system. )

(5) (Coordination with adjacent units. )

(6) (Areas in which prearranged indirect fires will be massed. )

(7) (Reinforcing mission, to include mobile antimechanized means. )

(8) (Antimechanized responsibility for rear or beach areas. )

(9) (Priority for defense of enemy mechanized approach routes. )

(10) (Reconnaissance of routes for the movement of mobile antimechanized

means. )

(11) (Instructions relative to breaching of enemy obstacles. )

(12) (Location of obstacles to be installed. )

(13) (Instructions relative to protection to be provided for surveillance or

obstacles. )

(14) (Reconnaissance.)

c. (Tactical instructions applicable to two or more units or to the entire command

which are necessary for coordination of the general conduct of the operation, the )&
repetition of which in the other subparagraphs of paragraph 3 would be cumber-
some. References may be made to other pertinent annexes of appendixes to the
operation order.)

--(Page number)--

- -( Classification) --


FMFM 9-3

- -( Classification) --

(1) (Reconnaissance.)

(2) (Local security. )

(3) (Reinforcing fires. )

(4) (Reinforcement by mobile antimechanized means. )

(5) (Instructions relative to the use of smoke. )

(6) (Control and coordination of antimechanized means when the axis of an

enemy mechanized attack is along the boundary between units. )

(7) (Special provisions in the event of multiple mechanized attacks. )

(8) (Target priorities. )

(9) (Laying of mine fields. )

(10) (Reporting hostile mine fields. )

(11) (Provision of tankborne artillery, naval gunfire spotters, and forward

air controllers. )

(12) (Air-ground identification to be displayed by friendly vehicles. )

(13) (Display of frontline marking panels during mechanized attack. )

(14) (Reporting information relative to terrain trafficability, bridges, fording

sites, and roads. )

(15) (Provision for illumination. )

(16) (Essential elements of information (EEls). )


a. (Instructions relative to supply and traffic. )

b. (Minimum loads of armor pierCing ammunition. )


a. (Reference to communication annex, COl, and COMMSOP. )

b. (Command Post. )
--(Page number)--
- -(Classification) --

FMFM 9-3

--(Classification) --


(Axis of Communication. )

(Commanding instructions relevant to the implementation of the antimechanized

warning system. )

BY COMMAND OF . Rank and Name


Rank and Service
Chief of Staff

1 - Barrier Plan (Omitted)

2 - Antimechanized Overlay and Fire Support Plan (Omitted)


Authentication: (On copies not bearing above signature. )

--(Page number)--

_____________ --(Classification)--


FMFM 9-3



- -(Classification) --
Copy of copies
1st Marine Division
291100 Aug 63

Annex F (Antimechanized) to Operation Plan 11-63

Ref: Map: LETHE, 1:25,000, sheets E-24, E-25, E-26, E-27

Time Zone: W


a. Enemy Forces. --Appendix 2 to Annex B (Intelligence) to Operation Plan 11-63.

b. Friendly Forces.

(1) From D-60 to D-day, land-based aircraft conduct operations to exert

maximum effort to prevent movement of enemy armored forces into
objective area.

(2) From D-60 to D-day, land-based aircraft conduct photo reconnaissance of

objective area to locate enemy tanks and vehicles.

(3) From the beginning of morning nautical twilight D-day, air attacks will be
conducted against enemy armored concentrations within 200 miles of
landing area.

(4) Between 0630-0645 D-day, support air conducts pattern bombing on objec-
tives in selected lanes on beaches RED and BLUE and landing zones
WHITE and GREEN, Appendix 3 (Breaching Plan) toAnnex H (Engineer).

(5) On D-day scheduled aircraft on station to conduct strikes against enemy

tanks and vehicles.

(a) 0630-1730: 36 VF for deep support missions.

3 VA for tactical air observers (Intelligence and Opera-
tions Observers) Landing Force, 1st and 2d Marine

(b) H-30 minutes to 1730: 24 VFA for close support missions.

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FMFM 9-3

- -(Classification)--

(6) During night of D-day/D+1, from 1730-0630 and during periods of bad
weather, 8 VA will be maintained on station for reconnaissance of armored
approach to beachhead.

(7) During night of D-day/D+1 from 1730-0630 and during periods of bad
weather, 16 VA will be maintained on station to attack enemy armor.

(8) Schedule of air operations after D-day: Appendix 2 (Post D-day Air Plan)
to Annex F (Air Support) to Operation Plan 11-63.

(9) At the beginning of morning nautical twilight D-day, Northern Fire Support
Group commences destructive and neutralization fires against located
enemy tanks and vehicles and delivers direct support and general support
missions throughout D-day. Appendix 3 (Antimechanized Overlay). Annex
E (Naval Gunfire Support) to Operation Plan 11-63.

(10) All artillery with the landing force prepared to execute antimechanized
fires in 1st Marine Division zone.


a. All units 1st Marine Division capable of delivering antimechanized fires exert
maximum effort to detect, disrupt, and destroy enemy armored forces in
division zone.

b. Zones of responsibility for antimechanized warning and control and coordi-
nation. Appendix 3 (Antimechanized Overlay).


a. Concept of Operation.

(1) Engage hostile armor when sighted with air, naval gunfire, and artillery
at maximum ranges.

(2) Canalize, delay, and deny enemy forces access to landing force objectives
by means of natural obstacles and barriers (see Barrier Plan).

(3) Organize blocking positions laterally and in depth. Roadblocks, hasty

minefields, artillery, and naval gunfire will be employed in conjunction
with antitank weapons. Responsibilities for the organization and coordi-
nation of these positions rest with the commander in whose zone of action
the enemy armor threat is imposed.

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FMFM 9-3

--(Classification) --

b. RLT-5. --Establish antimechanized warning and defense within zone and ensure
protection of division south (right) flank, with priority to enemy armored ap-
proach routes 1, 2, 3, and 4. Be prepared to furnish one rifle company rein-
forced (Div AM SOP) for helicopter lift to AM position 1. . Appendix 3 (Anti-
mechanized Overlay). Execute, on order, obstacles assigned in Appendix 1
(Barrier Plan). Cover all obstacles with observation and/or AT fires.

c. RLT-7. --Establish antimechanized warning and defense within assigned zone

with priority to enemy armored approach routes 4, 6, and 7. Be prepared to
furnish one rifle company reinforced (Div AM SOP) for helicopter lift to AM
position 2. Appendix 3 (Antimechanized Overlay). Coordinate defense of route
4 with RLT-5. Execute, on order, obstacles assigned in Appendix 1 (Barrier
Plan). Cover all obstacles with observation and/or AT fires.

d. 11th Marines (Reinforced). --Be prepared to mass fires in division zone.

Appendix 2 (Antimechanized Fire Support Plan).

e. 1st Antitank Battalion. --Be prepared to occupy firing positions along the enemy
armored approach routes. Appendix 3 (Antimechanized Overlay). Be prepared
on order to assist RLT-5 and RLT-7 in their antimechanized defense. Provide
direct support to division reserve/striking force on order.

f. 1st Tank Battalion. --Be prepared for employment in division zone against
enemy armored elements. Conduct reconnaissance to determine most suitable
enemy routes of approach. Be prepared to assume control and local coordina-
tion of fires of air, naval gunfire, and artillery. Provide direct support to
division reserve/striking force on order.
, .
g. Separate Tank Company. --Be prepared for employment in division zone against
enemy armored elements. Provide direct support to division reserve/striking
force on order.

h. Amphibian Howitzer Company. --On order, assemble in vicinity 516728.

Attached to division reserve/striking force.

i. 1st Engineer Battalion. --Clear and mark two lanes, through obstacles on
beach of each assault RLT, to permit early landing of tanks. Location of lanes,
Annex C (Operation Overlay). Prepare to install, on order, obstacles indicated
in Appendix 1 (Barrier Plan). Provide support to division reserve/striking
force on order.

j. Division Reserve/Striking Force. --Be prepared, on order, to execute counter-

attacks against possible enemy tank penetrations. One battalion reinforced
prepared, on order, for helicopter lift to AM positions, 3, 4, or 5 (Div AM SOP).
Appendix 3 (Antimechanized Overlay).

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FMFM 9-3

--(Classification) --

k. Coordinating Instructions.

(1) Antimechanized warning plan (Div AM SOP).

(2) Assault RLTs be prepared to employ direct support naval gunfire ships
and close support aircraft against enemy armored attack.

(3) Engage enemy mechanized forces within range with direct fire of field
artillery and L VTH.

(4) Prepare for timely movement of antitank means to blocking positions to

vital rear installations and beaches.

(5) Forward air controller requests priority air strikes against enemy
armored forces. Annex F (Air'Support) to Operation Plan 11-63.

(6) Naval Gunfire Officer masses general support ships on enemy armored
forces without delay. Appendix 1 (Schedule of Fires, D-day) to Annex E
(Naval Gunfire Support) to Operation Plan 11-63.

(7) First target priority to enemy tanks for all weapons capable of bearing.

(8) Report all enemy minefields and AT obstacles, including location of gaps
and/or hines cleared.

(9) Tactical air observers, pilots, and general aerial observers be prepared
to assist in directing support aircraft against enemy armored elements.

(10) Artillery air observers be prepared to conduct fires of 3d Amphibian

Howitzer Company against enemy armored elements prior to landing
direct support artillery.

(11) Frontline units display panels during antimechanized alerts except when
enemy aircraft are in immediate vicinity.

(12) Display following panels on hoods of trucks and turrets of tanks:

(a) D-day --------------- Yellow

(b) D+l ----------------- Red

(c) D+2 ---------- ------- White

(d) D+3 ----------------- Orange

(e) D+4 and thereafter ---- To be announced

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FMFM 9-3

--(Classification) --

(13) All units take maximum advantage of available natural cover from enemy

(14) All units stress training of personnel in use of organic weapons in antitank
defense, in laying antitank minefields, and in vehicle recognition.

(15) Provide liaison personnel (Observer parties, air controllers, and gunfire
spotters) for operations of tank and AT units in accordance with Div AM


a. Administrative Plan 11-63.

b. Minimum quantity armor pierCing ammunition to be carried at all times.

(1) Tanks: 20 rounds per vehicle.

(2) LVTH: 15 rounds per vehicle.

(3) Field artillery: 10 rounds per piece.

c. Light assault antitank weapons (LAAWs): initial issue to assault units in

accordance with Div AM SOP. On call resupply by air.

d. Mines carried as per Annex H (Engineer) to Operation Plan 11- 63.

e. Administrative Plan 11- 63.


a. Reports of actual sighting of enemy armored vehicles by fastest means


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FMFM 9-3

- -(Classification)--

b. Annex K (CommunicatiOJfs- Electronics) to Operation Plan 11-63.


Colonel, U. S. Marine Corps
Chief of Staff

APPENDIXES. (All Omitted)

1 - Barrier Plan

2 - Antimechanized Fire Support Plan

3 - Antimechanized Overlay

DISTRIBUTION: Annex X to Operation Plan 11-63


U. S. Marine Corps
I G-3

--(Page number)--


FMFM 9-3



- -(Classification) --
.Issuing headquarters
Place of issue
Date/time of issue

Appendix 1 (Barrier Plan) to Annex (Letter) (Antimechanized) to Operation Plan


Ref: Maps, charts, or photos: (List those needed for an understanding of the annex. )

Time Zone:

(Information of the overall situation essential to understanding the current situation
and the relationship of the barrier plan to the tactical plans.)

a. Enemy Forces. --(Pertinent information regarding composition, dispOSition,

location, movements, estimated strengths, identifications, and capabilities.
Frequently shown by reference to an intelligence plan or annex. )

b. Friendly Forces. --(Pertinent information on the responsibilities of commanders

of friendly forces which may affect the execution of the barrier plan. )

c. Assumptions. --(Give assumptions required to provide a common basis for

planning. )


(A clear concise statement of the barrier task to be accomplished by the command

and its purpose. )


{In separate lettered paragraphs, give the specific task or responsibility of each
subordinate command. List each barrier, the priority of preparation, target date
for completion, and appropriate remarks. In the final paragraph, titled "Coordinat-
ing Instructions," give details of coordination and control measures applicable to
the command as a whole or to two or more elements of the command. These may
include restrictions on the type of obstacles, restrictions on the employment of
barriers, routes to be kept open, denial instructions, and instructions relative to
the security of the command. This subparagraph will refer to appendixes such as
nuclear demolition appendix, minefield location appendix, chemical contaminants
--(Page number)--
--(Classification) --

FMFM 9-3


appendix, and demolitions appendix, if applicable. }



(Instructions concerning administrative matters including logistical arrangements

for the execution of the barrier plan. These may include allocation of indigenous
labor, material, and transportation. )


(Instructions conerning communications and command including reference to a

standard plan or annex. Instructions for reports of intended location, extent and
type of minefields, demolitions to inclurle nuclear demolitions, contaminants, and
other obstacles will be included. )

BY COMMAND OF... Rank and Name

--(Signature) --

Rank and Service
Chief of staff
APPENDIXES. (All Omitted)

1 - Barrier Overlay

2 - Minefield Location Plan

3 - Demolition Plan





Rank and Service


--(Page number)--

- -(Classification) --

FMFM 9-3




The M28 is commonly known as the energa grenade. It weighs 1. 42 pounds and has
a filler of 9.9 ounces of composition B. It is constructed of a light weight aluminium
alloy. (See fig. 71.)


Figure 71. --M28 HEAT Rifle Grenade and M29 Practice Rifle Grenade.

FMFM 9-3

a. Characteristics. --The energa grenade is primarily an antimechanized defense

weapon. It has an armor penetrating capability of 8 inches at 0 degrees obliquity; i. e.,
at right angles to the target. It uses the shaped charge principle to obtain armor pene-
tration. Upon impact, a fuse in the nose of the grenade causes base detonation of the
shaped charge. This charge focuses a small, powerful jet which penetrates the armor,

spreading particles and molten armor inside. The projectile is fin stabilized in flight
and has an effective range of 91 meters. It is effective against armor at any range
from which a hit can be made.

b. Safety Features. --The rubber nose cap is the only external safety feature of
the energa grenade. It is provided primarily to prevent damage to the nose fuse during
shipment. It must be removed prior to firing and can be removed at any time and
replaced. The tungsten carbide tip of the nose fuse is designed to bite into a target and
prevent ricochets. Should the grenade be fired with the cap on, the chance of a deto-
nation is small unless there is little or no angle of obliquity at the point of impact.
Internally, the grenade has been designed so that the flash barrier assembly can be
cleared only by setback action. See figure 72. This barrier stays closed until the
grenade has traveled at least 5 feet from the launcher. When the flash barrier assembly


l~~ ___----BOOsrER

Figure 72. --Cross Section of the M28 HEAT Rifle Grenade.

FMFM 9-3

is clear the grenade detonates upon impact.

c. Safety Precautions. --An energa grenade can become partially armed during
handling. This happens if the grenade is subjected to an impact equivalent to a 12-foot
drop, tail first, to a solid surface. To guard against firing a partially armed grenade,
follow the below listed procedures prior to firing any energa grenade:

(1) Grasp the grenade firmly by the tail and raise it to a horizontal position
at arms length from the body.

(2) Rotate the grenade alternately clockwise and counterclockwise. Listen

for any noise to indicate that the flash barrier assembly is rolling around inside the
ogi ve of the grenade.

(3) If such a noise is heard, the grenade must be replaced in its fiber con-
tainer, plainly marked "armed flash barrier~" and turned in to the appropriate activity
for disposal.

Figure 73. --M31 HEAT Rifle Figure 74. --M19A1 White Phosphorous
Grenade". Rifle Grenade.

FMFM 9-3


The M29 corresponds in size, shape, and flight characteristics to the M28 rifle
grenade. It is inert with a cast iron body and stabilizer tube and fin assembly made
of sheet metal. Since this practice grenade is intended to be used repeatedly, the fins
and ogives may be replaced when damaged. The maximum range (direct fire) of this
grenade is about 150 meters. (See fig. 71.)


The M31 is a high explosive antitank rifle grenade using the shaped charge effect
for armor penetration. It has the same purpose as the M28 energa but has a maximum
effective range of 115 meters. It will penetrate in excess of 10 inches of armor or
20 inches of reinforced concrete. (See fig. 73.)


The M19A1 WP rifle grenade, shown in figure 74, consists of a body, stabilizer
tube, and fin assembly made of sheet metal. It is fired in the same manner as the
other grenades. The grenade has a wire safety pin inserted in the stabilizer tube which
must be removed prior to firing. It has an impact type fuse which detonates the gre-
nade when it strikes the ground or any other object. When it bursts, it throws burning
white phosphorous over an area about 20 meters in diameter. The WP grenade is used
to produce casualties, to set fire to inflammable objects, to signal, and to screen the
movements of small units. It may be employed effectively by infantry elements in the
close in assault of disabled enemy tanks.

336 I
FMFM 9-3



The 3. 5-inch rocket launcher is a two-piece, smooth-bore, open-tube antitank

weapon. See figure 75. The rocket launcher is primarily an antimechanized defense
weapon. However, it has capabilities as a potent assault weapon against pillboxes,
bunkers, crew served weapons, and troops in the open. It can be fired from the stand-
ing, sitting, kneeling, and prone positions. In comparison with other weapons, the
rocket launcher is a simple weapon. It guides the rocket in the initial part of its flight
to the target.

Figure 75. --M20A1Bl 3. 5-Inch Rocket Launcher (Left Side View).


The rocket launcher is located in the assault section of the weapons platoon of a
rifle company. The section consists of three squads of two assault teams each. Each
team consists of a team leader/gunner, an assistant gunner, and an ammunition carrier.
Within each rifle company there are a total of six rocket launchers. There are eight
additional rocket launchers available in the headquarters and service company of each
infantry battalion.


When a rocket is loaded into the breech end, an electrical circuit is completed. A
magneto-type firing device in the trigger grip provides the current for igniting the rocket.
When ignited, the rocket is propelled through the launcher tube by the jet action of the
rocket motor. There is no recoil. The barrel is only strong enough to prevent denting
or bending when being handled.

FMFM 9-3

Pertinent general data for the 3. 5-inch rocket launcher consists of the following:

a. Length (assembled for firing) ------------------------------- 60 in.

b. Types of rockets ----------------------------WP, HEAT, practice
c. Weight ---------------------------------------------------- 13 lb.
d. Weight of rockets ------------------------------------------ 9 lb.
e. Maximum rate of fire, rds per min ----------------------------- 8
f. Sustained rate of fire, rds per min ---------------------------- 4
g. Maximum range -------------------------------- ------- - - 900 yds.
h. Maximum effective range against point targets -------------- 300 yds.
i. Maximum effective range against moving targets ------------ 200 yds.
j. Penetration (homogeneous armor plate) ---------------------- 11 in.


Ammunition is fixed and issued as a complete rocket. See figures 76 and 77. The
complete rocket consists of a rocket head, a fuse, and a rocket motor. A nozzle and fin
assembly are rigidly attached to the rear of the motor. The fuse body, threaded at both

Figure 76. --3. 5-Inch Rockets.

. 338

FMFM 9-3

IG))1lTER LEADS --------4




Figure 77. --Components of the 3. 5-Inch HEAT Rocket.

ends, serves also as a coupling for the rocket head and motor. Ammunition is classified
according to the type of rocket head. It includes high explosive antitank (HEAT), white
phosphorous (WP), and practice rockets. Each rocket is about 23 1/2 inches long,
weighs about 9 pounds, has a maximum velocity of 334 feet per second, and is accurate
against point targets up to ranges of 300 yards.

a. General. --The equipment used for sighting the launcher consists of a reflecting
sight assemblyand an elevation plate shown in figures 78 and 79. These are mounted
on the left side of the rear barrel assembly.

Figure 78. --Reflecting Sight Assembly in Figure 79. - - Reflecting Sight Assembly in
the Firing Position. Folded Position Showing
Elevation Plate.

FMFM 9-3


0- -- I -0
100- -100
200- - I - - 200
300- -- I - - 300
400- -- - - 400

Figure 80. -- Ladder Type Reticle Pattern.

b. Sight Assembly. --The lens of the sight has a ladder type reticle pattern. See
figure 80. This pattern is superimposed on objects seen through the sight. The pattern
consists of a dashed vertical centerline, a dashed horizontal zero line, four dashed

horizontal range lines, and two stadia lines.

(1) The length of each sector of the vertical centerline and the distance between
the sectors each represent 50 yards of range. See figure 81.

(2) The length of the sectors of the horizontal range line and the distance
between the sectors represent an angular lead of 5 mils or 5 miles per hour for various
estimated target speeds.

(3) The zero range line is marked 0 at each end, and the range lines are each
marked to represent the range in yards.

(4) The stadia lines are used to obtain an approximate range setting on 10 by 20
foot targets such as tanks, self-propelled artillery, and trucks. For broadside (20 ft. )
targets, the elevation of the weapon is adjusted until the ends of the target image touch
both stadia lines. See figure 82. For head on (10 ft. ) targets, the edges of the target
must be made to touch one stadia line and the vertical centerline of the reticle. See
figure 83.

FMFM 9-3


100- -
I -100

200- - -200
300- - -300
- -


-4---Z0NE FOR TGT. ---1...--- ZONE FOR TGT. ---
Figure 81. --Ladder Type Reticle Pattern.

c. Elevation Plate. --A range scale is engraved on the elevation plate. It is used
with the sight assembly. It has a notch marked 0 to 450. It also has notches numbered
from 5 to 9. A spring-loaded projection on the indicator arm pointer engages these
notches, holding it at the desired range setting.

(1) If the range is less than 450 yards, set the indicator arm at the 0 to 450
notch on the range scale and select the proper range on the sight reticle.

(2) If the range to the target is over 450 yards, move the indicator arm to the


FMFM 9-3

o o
100 - - 100

200 - - - - 200

300 - - - - 300

400- - -1- - -400

Figure 82. --Stadia Line Range Estimation. Side View Target 100 Yards Away.

notch on the range scale corresponding to the desired range. Use the zero line of the
sight reticle to obtain a sight picture. For example, if the range is estimated to be 600
yards, set the indicator arm at 6 on the range scale. Looking through the sight, set the
zero line and the vertical centerline of the sight reticle on the target.

d. Aiming the Lead Determination. --Instruction on the proper method for aiming
and determining leads is contained in paragraph 7.


a. Stationary Targets. --To fire the rocket launcher at a stationary target, estimate
the range using the stadia lines and set the indicator arm in the correct position. Then

find the point where the vertical and horizontal lines for the desired range cross. Place

-- 0

100 _
- 100

200 - - _ 200

300 -
- - 300

400 - --I - - 400

Figure 83. --Stadia Line Range Estimation. Head-on Target 50 Yards Away.

FMFM 9-3

- 0 - I- - 0

- 100
I- -

200 -- 200
-- I - 200

300 - 300 - - I - - 300

400 - -- -- - 400 400 - - -I ---400

Figure 84. --Target, 100 Yards Away, Figure 85. --Target, 100 Yards Away,
Moving 30 mph From Moving 20 mph From
Right to Left. Left to Right.

this aiming point on the center of mass of the target. At close ranges, the aim may be
shifted to the most vulnerable spot on the target such as the lightly armored part of a
tank.. Use the horizontal and vertical lines to avoid canting the launcher when aiming.

b. Moving Targets. --To hit a moving target, estimate its speed, range, and angle
of approach or departure. Place the indicator arm in the correct position. Then position
the target in the reticle.

(1) For targets moving directly across the front, determine the number of leads
from the estimated speed of the target. Position the target in the sight so that the proper
lead graduation of the selected horizontal range line is on the center of mass of the tar-

get. The vertical centerline should be in front of the target. See figures 84 and 85.

o 0 0 -- 0

100 - - I- - 100 100 - - 100

- I - 200 200 - - - -200

300- -
I - - 300 300 - - - - 300

400---, - - 400 400 -

--1---- 400

Figure 86. --Target, 100 Yards Away, Figure 87. --Target, 100 Yards Away,
Moving Directly Toward the Moving Directly Away From
Gunner. the Gunner.

FMFM 9-3

(2) For targets moving directly toward or away from the gunner, position the
target on the reticle so that the vertical center line passes through the center of m.ass of
the target. If the target is moving toward the gunner, place the selected horizontal
range line on the bottom of the target. If the target is moving away from the gunner,
place the selected horizontal range line on the top of the target. See figures 86 and 87.

(3) When engaging targets that are moving at an angle, the gunner positions the
target on the reticle to account for both the movement toward or away from his position
and also for the lateral movement of the target. If the angle is from 00 to 440 , the
gunner disregards the speed and places the selected range line either on top or at the
bottom of mass to compensate for movement toward or away from his position. He
places the center vertical line on the leading edge to allow for the lateral movement of
his target. See figure 88. If the angle is 45 0 to 90 0 , the gunner again places the se-
lected horizontal range line to compensate for range change. He allows for lateral move-
ment by dividing the speed in half and applying the appropriate lead. See figure 89.

o -- -- o o
100 _
- - 0

100.- - 100

200 - - 200 200 -

300- - - - 300 300 - - - 300

400---, -
Figure 88. --Target, 200 Yards Away,
- 400 400 - -- 1---
Figure 89. --Target, 200 Yards Away,

Approaching From the Left Approaching From the Right
Front at an Angle of 30 Front at an Angle of 45 De-
Degrees. grees and a Speed of 20 mph.


During loading, aiming, and firing the loader is to the side and slightly forward of
the breech end of the launcher. The gunner is in command of the rocket team. Training
in loading and immediate action is conducted concurrently. The loading procedure is
explained below:

a. Gunner

(1) Check the bore of the launcher to make sure it is clean.

(2) Assume the prone, sitting, kneeling, or standing position.

FMFM 9-3

(3) Place the proper range setting on the elevation plate.

(4) Place the launcher on the right shoulder and point it at the target area.

(5) Set the safety in the safe position.

(6) Remove the right hand from the trigger and support the launcher with the
left hand under the trigger guard.

(7) Tap the loader with the right hand and at the same time command: LOAD.
Do not squeeze the trigger while the launcher is being loaded. During early training
periods and until per sonnel are thoroughly familiar with the launcher, place the right
hand on the helmet to make sure that the trigger is not squeezed.

b. Loader

(1) Take up a position similar to the gunner's but on the opposite side of the
launcher, facing and within easy reach of the breech. During loading, aiming, and
firing do not stand behind the launcher.

(2) Repeat the command: LOAD.

(3) Without changing position, pick up the rocket with the left hand, the palm
up, and the head of the rocket pointed toward the target.

(4) Check the rocket for a loose nozzle closure by grasping the red and green
ignition wire leads which pass through the closure and gently pulling while observing
the closure. Any movement of the closure indicates that it has been sealed improperly.

Figure 90. --Removing the Shorting Clip.

FMFM 9-3

A loose nozzle closure may result in the rocket falling short or chuffing (intermittent)
burning with a puffing noise) when fired. A chuffing rocket may fall to the ground a
short distance from the launcher, smolder, and then resume burning and be propelled in
an unpredictable direction. Rockets with loose nozzle closures must not be fired.
Special attention must be given to examining the nozzle closure during wet or freezing

(5) Remove the shorting clip from the contact ring assembly. See figure 90.

(6) Remove the safety band from the rocket. See figure 91.

Figure 91. --Removing the Safety Band.

(7) Rotate the control handle forward to the LOAD position.

(8) Hold the control handle in the LOAD pOSition and insert the rocket in the
launcher tube until it is stopped in position by the right and left-hand stops. Never ram
the rocket into the launcher. Precise, unhurried loading prevents the stops from over-
riding the fin assembly or allowing the rocket to move too far into the barrel. See
figures 92 and 93.

(9) Rotate the control handle rearward to the fire position. The launcher is
now ready to be fired. See figure 94.

(10) Observe to the rear to see that the backblast area is clear.

(11) Tap the gunner and call: UP,


FMFM 9-3

Figure 92. --Control Handle in the LOAD Position and Rocket Partially Inserted.

Figure 93. --Control Handle in the LOAD Position and Rocket Completely Seated.

FMFM 9-3

Figure 94. --Control Handle in the FIRE Position.


a. General. --Mter the loader has called UP, the gunner checks the range setting
and moves the safety to the FIRE position. He places the first and second fingers of his
right hand on the trigger and aligns the sight on the target. While holding his breath, he
squeezes the trigger with a smooth, steady, rearward pressure. He maintains sight
picture until after the rocket has left the launcher. Care must be exercised when firing
through brush and trees as impact with a twig or branch may deflect the rocket. A
heavy branch may detonate the rocket.

Figure 95. --Standing Positions.

FMFM 9-3

b. Positions. --The rocket launcher is fired from positions which are similar to
those used to fire other shoulder weapons. The gunner must make certain that he is
comfortable, relaxed, and steady. Figures 95 through 100 show correct firing positions.

Figure 96. --Sitting Position for Firing at Figure 97. --Sitting Position for Firing at
a Stationary Target. a Moving Target.

Figure 98. --Kneeling Position for Firing Figure 99. --Kneeli